Thomas Edward Roy
Thomas Edward Roy passed from this life the morning of Friday, August 11, 2017, at his home in Matador, Texas. He was 70 years old.
Tom was born on Mother’s Day: May 10, 1947, in Sweetwater, Texas, to Mary Brown Roy and Alfred Dennis Roy. Even though his father died when he was only 2, he loved spending his early years with his large extended family in Sweetwater. When he was 9, his mother remarried to Frankie Berryman. Tom, his big brother, Don, and his mom moved to Ballinger, where Frankie was the County Clerk. Ballinger became his beloved hometown, and he had wonderful memories growing up there on Largent Street, playing along the banks of Elm Creek, and being a Ballinger Bearcat.
After graduation, he became a Texas Tech Red Raider and was a very proud member of the Going Band from Raider Land, playing his trombone, with a silver bell, all throughout college. He was also a member of Pi Kappa Alpha (PIKE) fraternity while at Tech. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications in 1970. In later years he earned his MBA from Tarleton State University.
After college, he served his country as a soldier in the U.S. Army Reserves and later was a member of the Texas National Guard.
Tom met his future wife, Linda Russell of Colorado City, on a blind date arranged by their friends during his senior year at Tech. They were married on March 6, 1971. Upon his death, they had been married 46 years.
His professional career centered around advertising, economic development and chamber of commerce management, but mostly governmental affairs. A gifted writer (the skills of which he fully attributed to the instruction of his high school English teacher, Minnie Ruble), Tom and Linda owned and operated the semi-weekly newspaper, The Ballinger Ledger, for several years. When he retired, he was the vice president of governmental affairs for John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. He had a passion for working to create a positive political climate in which public health care could operate successfully—lobbying both Washington, DC, and the state legislature in Austin.
After retirement he tried his hand at owning and operating a Kwik Kar Auto Lube in Lubbock because some of his favorite memories as a teenager were of days working at Cam Blackmon’s gas station in Ballinger. However, a series of minor and not-so-minor strokes along with the toll that diabetes can take on one’s body eventually necessitated his full retirement.
Tom was passionate about baseball and coaching his three children in the sport. He loved working on old vehicles and taught his daughter and two sons how to rebuild and repair their own car or truck. He loved Willie Nelson, the Beatles, and the Beach Boys. He loved swapping tales with his friends over a glass of Famous Grouse and a good Cuban cigar. He loved reading and was especially fond of books by Allen Drury, W.E.B Griffin, and Michael Connelly. He loved the intrigue of politics and idolized Thomas Jefferson and Winston Churchill. He loved his Lord, and his favorite print was a picture of an oversized Jesus knocking on the United Nations Headquarters building in New York. He loved his family and was always ready to grill fajitas when they got together.
A memorial service will be Saturday, August 19, at 2 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Matador, and the family will receive visitors afterward at Hotel Matador.
Tom is survived by his wife; a daughter, Emily (Paul) Teegardin of Quitaque; a son, Matt (Kelly) Roy of Shanghai, China; a son, Luke (Sara) Roy of Matador; two grandchildren, Malosi and Rance Roy of Shanghai; a brother, Don (Rhonda) Roy of Mt. Pleasant; his mother-in-law, Dorothy Russell of Matador; two sisters-in-law, Marilynn (Randy) Hicks and Caron (Jesse) Perkins, all of Matador; a brother-in-law, John Douglas (D’anna) Russell of Eureka, KS; and many beloved nieces and nephews. A second granddaughter, Rose Aileen Roy, will be joining the family in December.
Memorials may be sent to the Motley County Library (PO Box 557, Matador, TX 79244) or the Carnegie Memorial Library (204 N. 8th St., Ballinger, TX 76821).