Royce Cullen Womble passed away on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016, after a battle with Alzheimer's. Service: 3 p.m. Sunday at Blessing Funeral Home. Interment: 9 a.m. Monday in Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery. Visitation: 2 p.m. Sunday before the service. Royce was a resident of Mansfield, and a wonderful brother, father, grandfather, and friend to all he knew. Royce was born in Webb on Aug. 12, 1931, second youngest of a family of six children. Known to friends as "RC," he grew up on a family farm, and explained he was never hungry, and always had what was needed. He never complained, even though his family suffered the loss of their father Cornelius when Royce was 4 years old. RC earned his way through college playing football at North Texas State University, and was inducted into NTSU's Ring of Honor in later life. World War II was winding down, but RC and several of his football teammates signed up to assist recovery efforts, and served four years in the Navy at Dallas Naval Air Station. After his military service, he tried out with the Baltimore Colts, where he played as wing back five years, and then one more year with the Los Angeles Chargers. He qualified for an NFL retirement, and maintained many friends around the NFL. RC saw the best in people and believed in hard work and solid families. He was positive and strong, and was a leader in every task he took on. He was a farmer, an athlete, a sailor, a coach, earned a master's degree in physical education, formed a small business partnership with two other partners, then eventually purchased Arlington Sporting Goods outright and incorporated, and with Jan's help ran the business for almost 40 years. He was a shrewd and fair business manager and exited the sporting goods business and bought a farm in Nocona to enjoy in retirement. He has a set of wonderful friends that joined him in his lifelong hobbies, including quail hunting, dove hunting, fishing and bird dogs. He was preceded in death by his son, Reed Merritt Womble. Survivors: He is survived by his loving wife, Janice; sisters, Robbie Lee Gilstrap and Betty Mitchell; his children, Brian and daughter-in-law Denise, Greg, Debbie Autry Turner, Robin Autry Alaniz and Bryan Autry; grandchildren, Julie Trkula, Scott Womble, Josh Womble, Krystal Arnold, Jimmy Christinidis, Shelby Moritz; and four great-grandchildren.
Published in Star-Telegram on Dec. 3, 2016.