On September 25th, 2013 Roy Gene Irving went home to be with his Lord and Savior. He was born in Detroit, Michigan on October 24, 1928, to his parents Roy Franklin Irving and Mary Maude Massey Irving. He was the sixth of seven children. His growing-up years were spent on Detroit's East Side.
Roy's lifelong interest in music began early. He began playing the trumpet in elementary school and played and sang in vocal groups at Edwin Denby high school and in college. He attended and graduated in 1951 from Northwestern College, a liberal arts school in Minnesota.
In his final year of college, Roy met his first wife of 45 years, Lenora Christine Sandin, a farm girl from Newman Grove, Nebraska. They were married following graduation and went on to SMU in Dallas, where he earned a master's degree in history. Along their journey together, the Lord blessed Lenora and Roy with four boys: Gary, Tim, Mark, Steve, and a daughter, April Christine.
In 1956, after a rewarding stint as a youth pastor at two Presbyterian churches in Washington, D. C. and Silver Spring Maryland, Roy and Lenora moved to New Orleans, LA. There, in 1958, he earned a master's degree in religious education. After graduation from New Orleans Baptist Seminary, he was extended an invitation to join the faculty at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA and served as Christian Education Director at Grace Church on San Andres.
In 1961 Roy worked for two Christian publishing firms in Illinois for a total of 31 years as an editor and manager. After 45 years of marriage, his wife, Lenora died of Stage 4 Cancer.
In 1997, Roy moved to Santa Barbara, CA, where he married Joann Sites Flint, who had been widowed for 14 years. Roy and Joann enjoyed a happy union, and were longtime members of El Montecito Presbyterian Church. There they spent many years leading a senior adult luncheon group where he edited a quarterly Men's letter and prepared the Men's Page in the Elmo Press, a monthly publication of the church.
Roy is survived by his loving wife, Joann, his five children: Gary, Tim, Mark, April, and Steve, and their families. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Wallace, Donald, Glen; and sisters Carol McCamy, Mary Ellen Ellington, and Sharon Rosel.
He was always known as a loving encourager to family and friends in all situations. One of Roy's favorite quotes by Don Wyrtzen was:
Just think .... Of stepping on shore, And finding it heaven, Of touching a hand, And finding it God's Of breathing new air, And finding it celestial Of waking up in glory And finding it home.
A Memorial Service will be held Saturday, Nov. 9th at El Montecito Presbyterian Church at 2 P.M.
The family would like to thank the staff at Serenity House for their loving care and encouragement in his final journey home.