Grand Rapids philanthropist and business owner Chuck Royce Sr. dies at 90 years

Posted at 4:28 PM, Jun 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-20 16:28:40-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. –Grand Rapids businessman and philanthropist Charles Lund Royce passed away early the morning of Saturday, June 20, 2015. He was 90 years old.

Charles Royce, who often went by Chuck, was born on January 20, 1925 to Fred and Maria Lund Royce. He graduated from Central High School before attending Grand Rapids Junior College (since renamed Grand Rapids Community College). He earned his mechanical engineering degree from Marquette University. He attended Midshipman School in Fort Schuyler, NY and served on the USS Elkhart before returning to Grand Rapids and the family business: Royce Rolls Ringer Company, which was founded by his parents shortly after he was born.00 ZI 2009 Chuck & Stella copy

Royce met Stella Allen in 1953 and were married weeks later. The couple raised four children: Martha, Matthew, Maria, and Charlie.  Matthew and Charlie began working at Royce Rolls Ringer Company and eventually took over the family business.

Royce supported a variety of arts and other organizations in West Michigan. He and his wife gave money and volunteered their time to St. Cecilia Music Center, Grand Rapids Symphony, Grand Rapids Ballet, Michigan Ballet Academy, Opera Grand Rapids, and the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, to name a few. Royce Auditorium at St. Cecilia Music Center was named for them in 1986, and in 2001, the Royce Center for Dance (now Meijer/Royce Center for Dance) for the Grand Rapids Ballet was dedicated to them.

A memorial service for Chuck Royce will take place at St. Cecilia Music Center, 24 Ransom Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, Michigan on Monday, June 29 at 11:00AM. Visitation with the family begins at 10:00AM. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in his memory to St. Cecilia Music Center’s Annual Fund.

00 S 1997 Cornerstone ceremony Chuck Royce copySurviving him are his wife of 61 years Stella, sister Constance Ogren, daughter Maria (Paul) Hesse, son Charlie (Angelyn) Royce, son-in-law James Edwards, daughter-in-law Terri Royce, many nieces and nephews, and grandchildren Hannah, Taylor, Daniel, Thomas, Mitchell, Mark, Sophia, Sydney, and Michael.

St. Cecilia Music Center has a commemorative page on their website in memory of Royce.