William Gray "Billy" Royle
December 21, 1931 - January 4, 2021 - On January 4, 2021 William Gray Royle passed from the loving but virtual arms of his family to the loving but actual arms of his Lord. He died as a result of COVID-19, contracted while in rehabilitation.
Bill was born December 21, 1931, in Reno, Nevada, to William Royle and Dorothy Gray Royle in St. Mary's Hospital. He spent his first three years in the family home on Washington Street in Carson City where the V&T Railroad ran past their house on the edge of the front yard.
The family relocated to Reno in 1934 to their home on Bell Street where Billy attended McKinley Park Elementary School. After the Truckee River flooded their Bell Street home, they moved to 329 West Sixth Street where Bill attended Mary S. Doten Elementary School, Northside Junior High School, the original Reno High School, and the University of Nevada. At UNR he pledged the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and was a member the Nevada Air National Guard. In 1951 the Guard unit was activated and he served two years in the United States Air Force at George AFB, Bergstrom AFB and New Mexico Western College.
After discharge in 1952, he married his high school sweetheart, the first love of his life, Blanche Casazza with whom he had three sons , Brent, Bryce and Bruce. Bill lost his wife, Blanche in 1976 and in 1977 met the second love of his life, Bonnie. They were married in 1978. Bonnie bravely took on this single father with three sons. They would have celebrated their 43rd wedding anniversary on January 28, 2021. Bonnie and Bill had many adventures in their years of marriage and enjoyed travel to many of their bucket list destinations, summer visits to the Jersey shore, cruises to exotic places and visits with family in New York State. They maintained a home in Oro Valley, Arizona for more than 20 years. .
In 1952 Bill began his 35-year career with United Airlines. During his career he was assigned to various positions in Reno, Las Vegas, and then in Reno again. Upon retirement from United Airlines in 1987, he was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Airport Authority of Washoe County on which he served for eight years, serving for two terms as Chairman of the Board. While on the Board, he also served on the Board of the Airports Council International (ACI) and as Chairman of the ACI Commissioners Round Table. Bill had a wonderful sense of humor. He famously responded to a letter from an ACI executive, addressed to Dear Mr. Royle: "People who are trying to sell me something call me Mr. Royle. People I owe money to call me William. My acquaintances call me Bill. But my family and good friends call me Billy. It's your choice." The next letter from the ACI executive was addressed to Dear Billy!
Bill was active in community service and professional organizations in Reno, Las Vegas and Oro Valley. He always gave himself 100% to any organization he joined and would always strive to lead. He was a member and President of the Reno 20-30 Club, member and President of the Las Vegas Strip Kiwanis Club, member and President of the Reno Kiwanis Club, member and President of the Skal Club of Reno, volunteer at the Pima Air and Space Museum, volunteer at the Oro Valley Hospital, and an active supporter of his three sons' cub scout and boy scout troops in Las Vegas. Known as Dad to his children, Papa to his grandchildren and G-Pop to his great-grandchildren, Bill loved them all boundlessly. He was known to generations of children in the extended family as the "tickle tester". His love and humor (even the really bad and corny jokes) will be missed by his family and friends but his 89 years were full and well-lived.
Bill was predeceased by his parents, William and Dorothy Royle, his wife, Blanche and his great-grandson Blake Royle. He is survived by his wife Bonnie, his sons Brent, Bryce (Georgia), and Bruce . He is also survived by grandchildren Nicholas (Jackie) Royle, Bradley (Michelle) Royle , Ryan (Jasmin) Royle, Elizabeth (Chris) Spezia, Anthony Royle and Tobi Royle, his 8 great-grandchildren, his two sisters, Patricia Rose and Marilyn Melton and many nieces, nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews.
Services will be held at Our Lady of Snows for family only at a date to be determined. Entombment will be private at the Mt. View Cemetery Mausoleum. A celebration of life will be held at a later time when family and friends can gather together without fear of COVID. In lieu of flowers, he asked that you consider contributions to the charitable programs of the Reno Kiwanis Club which supports the youth of our community: Kiwanis Club of Reno, c/o Eunice Hylin, Secretary, 13435 Evening Song Lane, Reno, NV 89511.