James Gordon Royle
January 6, 1942 - April 24, 2021
James Gordon Royle was born on January 6, 1942 in Cleveland, Ohio to Mary (Cisler) and Raymond M. Royle. He graduated as President of his class from Kalamazoo Central High School. He continued his education at Albion College, graduating with honors in Sociology in 1963. He went directly on to pursue graduate studies in Clinical Developmental Psychology, with a teaching assistantship at The Ohio State University. During Freshman orientation at Albion, he met the best friend of his life, Tamara Transue, as they auditioned for membership in the College Choir. They sang together and dated throughout their college careers and were married on June 29, 1963. While at Albion, Jim was a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon, Omicron Delta Kappa, Theta Alpha Phi, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia fraternities. The couple continued to be active alumni of Albion College and in 2008 they were honored to receive the Distinguished Alumni Award, as a couple.
They established their home in Saginaw, Michigan where he went on to become Chief Psychologist and Administrative Director of the Westlund Clinic, before being asked to assume duties as the first Director of a new regional center for children with specials needs. In 1997, he was asked to accept a full-time tenure track professorship on the faculty of SVSU in the College of Education, preparing future teachers of special education, a position which he held until his retirement in 2011.
Mr. Royle's life of leadership and service included Saginaw Pit and Balcony, Midland Men of Music, and Midland Center for the Arts. He was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church of Saginaw where he sang in its church choir.
Summers were committed to time at the Congregational Summer Assembly on Crystal Lake, near Frankfort, Michigan. Jim served on the board of the CSA, as President of the Board, and for many years as Chief Trustee of the CSA Pilgrim Fund. He sang in the Assembly Choir for 62 years. Jim and his wife were recognized in 2009 with the Citation for Long and Valued Service to the Assembly. The family spent quality time together at "Ritornello". This summer home has become a legacy for their children, Timothy Transue Royle (Kimberly), Freeland; Michael James Royle, Traverse City; and Megan Louise Carrella (Edward), Frankfort; as well as their grandchildren, Maxwell James Royle (Freeland) ; Dominic Royle, Ashton Michael Royle, and Athyn James Royle (Traverse City); Luciano James and Sophia Louise Carrella (Frankfort).
Avocationally, Jim's love of music and theater were evidenced by his active musical and theatric performances in various venues. The Royles were devout "anglophiles" which included trans-Atlantic voyages aboard the Cunard Line ships. Their enthusiasm for ballroom dancing was a lifelong joy.
Mr. Royle was pre-deceased by his parents. He leaves his wife, children and grandchildren, his brother Robert (Fort Myers, FL), sisters-in-law Pamela Royle (Frisco, TX) and Andrea Haidle (Grand Rapids, MI), a niece and four nephews, and two God-Daughters, Courtney Royle Cummings (Frisco, TX) and Tricia Wight Jordan (Saginaw). A funeral service was held at First Presbyterian Church, Saginaw. Interment was in the family plot in the Crystal Lake North Cemetery in Frankfort. Memorial contributions may be made to the Albion College Music Department or Pilgrim Fund of the Congregational Summer Assembly. Arrangements have been entrusted to Deisler Funeral Home.
Published by Benzie County Record Patriot on Jul. 12, 2021.