Royce Glen Roberts of Kenai, Alaska passed away on August 7, 2021 of natural causes. He was 86.
Royce was born on March 20, 1935 in Durant, Oklahoma.
Royce spent most of his adult life in Kenai, Alaska, working first as a welder in the Cook Inlet Oil field, followed by a long and distinguished career in the oil industry.
An innovator, Royce was granted several patents for oil pipe inspection and maintenance inventions that remain in use to this day. He launched a very successful and prosperous business known as Arctic Pipe Inspection (API) in the early 1970's, with facilities in Kenai, Prudhoe Bay, Port Hueneme, California and Channelview, Texas. Over the years, API and its sister company, Arctic Recoil, employed hundreds of individuals. The oil services business was challenging, but Royce survived and thrived in it with the help of many long-term, loyal employees and by providing quality workmanship unmatched by his peers. Despite his many achievements, Royce was proudest of being able to provide employment and a living wage to hundreds of people over many years.
Royce also commercial fished for salmon and halibut in the waters of the Cook Inlet.
He was an avid horseman, and trained and raced many horses over the years, but one of his favorites was his beloved Arctic Boy, who ran in the 127th Kentucky Derby in 2001.
Royce was a supporter of the Boys and Girls Club in Kenai, Alaska and Boys and Girls Country in Hockney, Texas.
In 1962, Royce married Iris Melba Roberts (nee Parker), who, until she passed in 2015, was the love of his life.
Royce is survived by his sister, Helen Harvey, and step-daughters Lola Matheus (Jim) and Bobbie McPherson (Tommy). He was preceded in death by three children, sisters Helen Harvey and Stella Hart and brother Herman Roberts.
With his outrageous but true accounts of living on the Last Frontier, Royce could hold a crowd in rapt attention, punctuated with uproarious laughter. Anyone who spent time with Royce will get a smile on their face or a chuckle when they recall what many friends knew as "Royceisms". Royce had a tough exterior but would always be there to help a friend.
Viewing will be on Friday, August 13, 2021 from 6-8 pm and a chapel service on Saturday, August 14, 2021 at 10 am at McNett Funeral Home, 705 North Main Street, Andrews, TX.
Published by Peninsula Clarion on Aug. 16, 2021.