Royce was born on October 28, 1943 in Corpus Christi, Texas. He was the first in his family to attend college and with his family’s support went to Texas A&M and received his DVM degree in 1967. He was in private practice in Texas for 3 years, then returned to Texas A&M studying radiology with Dr. William Banks (Texas A&M ’41), an ACVR Charter member, and Earl Morris (Texas A&M ’64). Royce finished his residency training at Auburn University with Jan Bartels (WSU ’65) and became an ACVR Diplomate in 1974. While at Auburn, Royce continued his studies in absentia on electron therapy at Texas A&M in conjunction with M.D. Anderson Hospital and received his MS in 1975.
He served on the academic faculties of the University of Tennessee, the University of Georgia, and Texas A&M, training students and residents in diagnostic and therapeutic radiology. He was a stickler for details and carefully followed his patients, documenting his results to ensure that his treatment protocols were current and accurate. After a short time in private practice in Austin, he returned to Texas A&M. Prior to retirement, Royce was associated with Dr. Charles Quick’s specialty referral practice in Houston providing consultations in radiation oncology.
When Royce was on the faculty at Texas A&M, the diagnostic X‐ray machines were quite archaic. The main X‐ray machine used in small animals was a Picker Capacitor Discharge. In large animals, there were two. One had a boom‐mounted X‐ray tube that could be centered on the hip joints, shoulders, and stifles. The other was a small portable 10 mA hand‐held Picker used for radiographing the distal extremities. In this older unit, the wiring was poor and if not held correctly would spark and shock the operator, which happened quite frequently.
Royce had a severe fear of flying and always drove to veterinary meetings including the RSNA/ACVR meetings held every November in Chicago. In 1978, while at the University of Tennessee, he asked his colleague, Mike Walker, if Mike would drive to Chicago for the meeting. Walker declined and preferred to fly. Both purchased airline tickets from Knoxville to Chicago. Royce was violently ill during the entire 2‐hour fight and reportedly filled up more than six motion sickness bags. He was so ill that he missed the first day of the Chicago meeting. Walker flew home by himself and Royce rented a car and drove back home alone to Knoxville.
His favorite sports included golf and he was proud of his single‐digit handicap. He enjoyed skeet shooting until he was forced to quit, which bothered him deeply. A few years ago, he noticed within himself the start of his dementia and it deeply frustrated him especially when he was unable to remember a friend’s name, a familiar place, or a specific medical syndrome. Until he died this past year, he lived with his wife, Karen, in the Texas hill country near Fredericksburg.
Royce was tall, large, and somewhat intimidating to many, but he was kind, considerate, warm, and sensitive man with a healthy sense of humor. He was a true gentleman and I take pride in knowing him for more than 45 years. Royce, you will be missed and remembered by many with fondness, adoration, and respect.
Dr. Jerry M. Owens
Glen Ellen, CA
Vet Radiol Ultrasound: https://doi.org/10.1111/vru.12726