Perry F. Roys (1922 - 2007)

Obituary
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  • "Perry Roys was my economics teacher at Montana School of..."
    - Robert D. Geach Sr.
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POLSON -- Perry F. Roys, 85, of Polson passed away on Dec. 8, 2007, at Village Health Care Center in Missoula after a stoic battle with lung cancer.

Perry Franklin Hartmann Roys was born in East Helena on Sept. 22, 1922. He was the youngest son of Norwegian emigrants Inga and Henry Roys, who preceded him in death. A brother and two sisters also preceded him in death.

He met his future wife, Helen Mae Butterfield, in 1941 while in college at Montana State University of Bozeman. They were married Jan. 19, 1946, while he was home on leave from the Navy.

In his early years, Perry worked for the Northern Pacific Railroad and managed the Bungalow Drug store soda fountain in Bozeman, where he learned to make superb ice cream and malts. Perry and Helen also managed the Penguin Shop in West Yellowstone, where they made thousands of doughnuts.

As a naval officer, Perry served on a fleet hospital ship based outside of Okinawa when the Japanese surrendered. He was tossed into a rice paddy by a typhoon during the occupation of Japan, but returned to active duty after his jaw and teeth were repaired. He was recalled during the Korean conflict and served in California for two years. He also authored a report on the economics of tungsten for the Atomic Energy Commission in Washington, D.C.

After the war, Perry earned an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan. He also attended Carroll College and Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. His fields of study were business, economics and government and that led to a career focused on regional planning, economic development and business administration.

He first taught at the Montana School of Mines (now Montana Tech) in Butte and eventually retired as a professor of business management from the University of Montana. During the intervening years, he also taught at the University of Omaha and the State University of New York at Buffalo. He served as Director of the Montana Department of Planning and Economic Development in Helena under several administrations.

He was the manager of the Area Development Department for the Northern Natural Gas Company in Omaha, Neb. In Buffalo, N.Y., he was executive vice president of the Greater Buffalo Development Foundation. In 1980, Perry retired from the University of Montana to devote his time, energy, and carpentry skills to the beloved family gathering place at Flathead Lake.

Perry was one of the pioneers in Montana skiing; in high school and college he skied competitively, won and placed in many events, including downhill and ski jumping championships. He was also a creative carpenter, boat builder, fly fisherman and once received national recognition for pitching a no-hit softball game. In later years, he became a fine senior golfer and also played pool with his golfing buddies.

Perry was a positive and energetic man, a philosopher, a professor, an entertaining storyteller and a genial, thoughtful, intelligent and generous man. He encouraged people to be open to new experiences and challenges, and he followed his own advice. As a result, Perry was even able to view his experiences and the new friendships formed in the "chemo lounge" with a positive attitude.

His wife, Helen, survives him at their home in Polson. He leaves behind their son, Hal Roys of Salt Lake City; daughters, Krista Roys (William O'Connor) of Madison, Wis., and Adina Pagel (Ron) of Missoula; seven lucky grandchildren: Jenelle, Gerald, Matthew, Kelda, Claire, Madeline and Eve; two great-grandchildren, Oscar and Lily; four nieces and two nephews. In addition, two cousins survive him: Odd Stronnes of Norway and Everett Lay of Manhattan.

He was a member of the Sons of Norway, the Polson Elks, SCORE and the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Polson.

The family wishes to thank the many people involved in Perry's care during this past year of illness: Dr. Shull Lemire; Dr. Ries and Dr. Beatty of the Montana Cancer Center; radiologists, Dr. Markette and Dr. Menendez; the fifth floor staff of St. Patrick's Hospital; staff of St. Joseph Hospital; Polson Home Health; and the Village Health Care Center of Missoula.

Memorials may be given to the American Cancer Society, the Cheerful Hearts of Polson, or to an organization of your choosing.

A memorial service will be held at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Polson, 409 Fourth Ave. E., at 2 p.m. Dec. 27, 2007.

Grogan Funeral Home of Polson will handle the arrangements. Condolences may also be sent to the family at www.groganfuneralhome.com.
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Dec. 16, 2007
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