Royal C. Lewis, Jr. – Obituary

By  | November 5, 2018 | Filed under: Laughlin Service Funeral Home, Obituaries

Lt. Col. (Ret.) Royal C. Lewis, Jr., almost 102, went peacefully to heaven on Saturday.  He is lovingly remembered by his wife of 67 years, Gloria D. Lewis; son, Royal C. Lewis III and wife, Kay; daughters, Amy L. Bear and husband, Jay, and Fay L. Leo and husband, Karl; granddaughters, Dr. Christina Cochran, Jessica Dodd (Brian), Hannah Lewis, Channing Cochran, Lana Leo; grandsons, Thomas Rudderow IV (Emily), Landon Leo; and great granddaughter, Emmalyn Alford.

Royal C. Lewis was born in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, on December 5, 1916, the son of Royal C. and Edith J. Lewis.  Royal was a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army.  Among his decorations are the Bronze Star Medal, the American Defense Service Medal, the European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 5 battle stars, the World War II Victory Medal, the Korea Service Medal with 3 battle stars, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal and the United Nations Medal.  In 2017, the Republic of France recognized his World War II service by awarding him the “Ordre national de la Légion d’Honneur,” the highest civilian honor the French nation can bestow.

Early in his military career, Royal was a member of the 6th Armored Division in World War II, landing at Utah Beach in Normandy, and fought in the Battle of the Bulge in the Ardennes.  After release from active duty in World War II, he continued in the reserves and completed his education at the University of New Hampshire and also the Colby-Swarthmore College School of Languages in Waterville, Maine.

When the Korean Conflict broke out in June 1950, duty called again, and Royal voluntarily accepted his World War II rank as 1st Lieutenant and was assigned to Ft. Benning, GA.  There he met Gloria Doughtie, his wife of 67 years, marrying at St. Luke Methodist Church on May 26, 1951.  Shortly after, orders were received for duty with the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea in 1951.

On return from Korea, Royal was assigned as Executive Officer of the St. Louis Ordnance Plant, then a transfer to the Orléans Area Command in Orléans, France.  After three years, he was assigned to US Army Missile Command (MICOM) at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, where he served as the Branch Chief of Programs.

When the “Wall” went up in Germany in 1961, he received orders to move to Hanau, Germany as the Adjutant of the 8th Ordnance Battalion.

The year 1964 found the Lewis Family again sailing on a ship to the USA with an assignment to the 12th Support Brigade at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina.  The last duty position Royal served was Secretary of the General Staff of the 12th Support Brigade in support of the 18th Airborne Corps.

Royal took part in his last military formation as a Soldier at his retirement ceremony in 1966, after which, the Lewis family moved back to Huntsville, Alabama.

During his retirement years, Royal volunteered with Adult Education ESL (English as a Second Language) teaching many international residents of Huntsville.  He loved languages and meeting people from all over the world.  Also, he was an avid golfer into his nineties.

Royal was a member of Latham United Methodist Church where visitation and funeral service will be held on Tuesday. Visitation will from 1:00 until 2:00 p.m. with the funeral service following immediately. Burial will follow at Maple Hill Cemetery, with full military honors.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Royal’s honor may be made to Wounded Warrior Project, 200 Randolph Avenue, Huntsville, AL 35801.

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