by David Shannon
Royce Cox is a gift from God who richly blessed our lives. She was born and grew up in Gladeville, Tennessee on Myers Road, named after her family. She was loved by all her classmates, described today as one who was nice to every child. As a young woman she didn’t lose this sweet quality. At a social function on February 9, 1952 a soldier in the Air Force spent the evening enjoying her company. Before this young man, Bill, left that evening he asked her if he could see her tomorrow on her birthday. She said, “yes”. Bill and Royce quickly fell in love. Over the next few months she said yes to marriage, and on May 3, 1952, she and Bill said, “I do”. Their faithfulness to their vows has been a paramount example for all of us to follow. When they married “for better or worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part,” they committed to every word of it!
Royce loved Bill! She sported a sticker on her car for sometime which read “I Do 52”. And Bill loved Royce. Bill’s care for her over the past decade has been a display of perfect love. He dressed this beautiful lady including her make-up and matching jewelry. He even learned to style her hair. They continued to enjoy going to church, restaurants, and other outings long after most husbands would have deemed it impossible. Their love “suffered long and was kind” and “it never failed!” How different America would be if every couple committed to such a life! But to concentrate only on the last decade isn’t fair to the memory of the fun-loving lady called, “Ro Ro”!
Royce loved life! She was voted “Most Wittiest” her senior year of high school. She loved to host Rook parties and any gathering to bring friends, neighbors or Bill’s co-workers into their home. She was the life of the party. They attended 36 consecutive “Holiday Progressive Dinners” even though they lived in Baltimore and Atlanta for seven of the years! When their first grandchild was born, she declared she was too young to be called “grandmother,” therefore, giving herself the name by which many would identify her as “Ro Ro.”
Royce loved others! She had a serious side as she cared for others.
Some said she was angelic, sensitive, lovely, and sensible. Another said, “She never spoke unkind words about others.” She was a “card sender,” even for no special occasion. She loved warming hearts with delicious meals served to family and friends. She was a great cook. She made meals and memories as every Sunday morning her family awakened to home cooked eggs, bacon, homemade biscuits, gravy, etc. Every Sunday at lunch the table was overflowing. She made the first day of school special every year, waking her girls to her version of “School Days, School Days…” even when the girls were too old to appreciate it to the fullest! She made memories through creating beautiful, matching dresses every Easter. Her grandchildren still remember the “Wakie, Wakie, Wakie, Breakfast is ready” being the wake-up call when they spent the night with Ro Ro. She instilled confidence in her girls and another important quality of helping them learn to laugh, even if it is at yourself!
Royce loved her family, friends, and home! When they moved to Baltimore she cried every day missing folks here. As a matter of fact Traci, a young child then, promised her mother one day if she would make it through the day without crying she would buy her a toy!
Royce loved her Lord! Her favorite song was, “I Believe in the One They
Called Jesus!” Not only was it a song, but it was the conviction of her heart. Her children and grandchildren have slept in her lap in the house of worship. Her example was clear to all, she was a child of God. Nancy Hackney wrote a tribute to “Ro Ro” several years ago. A portion of the tribute follows.
“Ro Ro is a lovely, sensitive, sensible, highly intelligent lady. She is a wonderful Christian, a wonderful wife, mother, and grandmother. She was also a wonderful daughter who lovingly attended (with Bill’s help) her mother and her mother’s husband until their deaths. She is interesting, sweet, kind and loving and is possessed of a delightful sense of humor. She truly has the ability to laugh at herself. She also suffers from a very debilitating disease which robs her of the use of some of her faculties from time to time.
Thus, she is unable to participate in class. However, her very presence (and she is very faithful in attendance) is both uplifting and a prime example of courage and strength. It shows her great desire to be with God’s people at every opportunity, to study His Word, to glorify His Name, and to enjoy Christian fellowship. … We salute you, Royce and Bill. You are a prime example of how Christians should love and care for one another. May your tribe increase!”
Mrs. Royce Cox passed away on January 22, 2004 after a long, courageous battle with Parkinson’s disease. Our memory of her is of a strong, vibrant woman who loved life and her Lord. She lives on in our hearts and her good works follow her. By faith we believe she is now strong in every sense and is finally home! She always loved home.