Obituary for Royce Painter
November 30, 1930 – April 5, 2021
On Monday, April 5, 2021, Royce Peter Painter, after sharing 90 years of his life with us, bid farewell and entered into another place, joining his parents, Harold and Marie (Rondoni) Painter, his brother Lawrence and sister Beverly (Painter) Durkin, and his beloved son Kenneth. On that Monday in April he was at home, surrounded by his family that cared deeply for him.
Royce was born on November 30, 1930, and was raised in the family home in Grass Valley. He was always able to walk to his neighborhood schools, including Grass Valley High School where he graduated with the Class of 1950.
Though he may not have been great in stature, Royce excelled in sports, especially baseball and football. He was well remembered telling his sons, “I made three touchdowns against Placer (an arch rival) and we won the game.” Sports were a big part of Royce’s life. Rarely did he miss any of his boy’s Little League or football games. He had season tickets to the Oakland Raiders until they moved, but he still remained a Raider fan, when he wasn’t cheering for the S.F. Giants. He played hardball for the Grass Valley Braves and the Nevada City Lumber Jacks, alongside his brother Lawrence and uncle Bud Painter. He also was inducted into the Nevada County Softball Association Hall of Fame.
Royce was a U.S. Naval Veteran, serving during the Korean War from July 1950 to August 1954, spending a good portion of his duty at Pearl Harbor. After his military service, Royce married Judy (Cowden) on June 30, 1956, and were inseparable for the next 65 years, producing four children: Debbie, Ken, Teri, and John.
Royce served for a time on the Nevada County Grand Jury and was a life member of The American Legion and the Nevada City Elks. After being released from the Navy, Royce went to work for his brother Lawrence at Painter’s Market, his small grocery on Broad Street, and Pee Wee’s Drive-In Market on Zion Street (now Hospice Thrift Store). He finished his working career at the Nevada City SPD Market. It was well known that if you were in SPD and in a hurry, it was best to avoid Royce’s line since he was always ready with a joke. It should be said that his jokes were usually funny, more so in the telling than in the punch line.
Royce loved life. He loved people. He was always fun to be around. He had a great laugh, and if he had a philosophy on how to live, it would be as “Auntie Mame” said…”Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.”
Royce is survived by his loving wife Judy, children Debbie of Nevada City, Teri of Grass Valley, John of Nevada City, nephews Dennis (Patti), David (Sharon), Doug (Cheri) Dean (Shelly), Cousins Amos (Bev) Seghezzi, Vera (Seghezzi) Cohen, Harold L. Painter, 13 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his oldest son Kenneth, father Harold, mother Marie, all his aunts and uncles, his brother Lawrence and wife Carol, and his sister Beverly (Painter) Durkin.
Royce will be greatly missed by all who knew him – and there are many. A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, June 19 at 11:00 a.m. at the Nevada City Elks Club.
Arrangements are under the direction of Hooper & Weaver Mortuary.
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