Royce Roland Frank was born in Rimbey on November 28, 1940, the oldest child of Henry and Helen Frank. Their first home was near a sawmill west of Rimbey. After a forest fire destroyed their home, all of their possessions and the sawmill, the family turned to farming. They first moved to a farm south of Rimbey, then to one south of the old Wilmot school in the Crestomere area, and finally settled along Highway 53, three miles west of Crestomere in 1952, where Royce lived and farmed for almost 60 years.
Royce attended the one room school at Wilmot until the new Crestomere school opened in 1953. The indoor plumbing and separate classrooms were a very welcome change. Royce completed up to Grade 11 at Crestomere, the highest grade at the school at that time. He then went on to take a two-in-one agriculture course at Olds Agriculture College. That prepared him for his lifelong career of farming. While living with his parents, he helped them with their part-time janitor work at the new Rimbey Gas Plant from 1961 – 1973. In August 1973, Henry and Helen retired to Ponoka and Royce married Linda Bundy. Royce and Linda took over farming on their own and worked three more years as janitors at the Rimbey Gas Plant until Linda took a job opportunity at the Lacombe Research Station. In 1979, they were thrilled to welcome son Neil and in 1981 they were equally pleased to add son Kevin to complete their family. The family continued to farm in the same location until 2010 when they retired to Lacombe and Neil and his wife Kendra took over the farm. After moving to Lacombe, Royce continued to help out on the farm in busy times and to provide advice when asked as long as his health allowed. In 2021, Royce needed additional care and moved to the Bethany Collegeside Long Term Care facility in Red Deer, where he lived until his passing. He passed away at Collegeside on September 11, 2023 at the age of 82 after a courageous struggle with Lewy Body dementia and very recently, cancer.
Royce ran a small mixed farm. He had hogs as well as range cows in the early days but soon settled into a cow-calf operation. He took many correspondence agriculture-related courses over the years, acquiring and honing the many skills needed to keep a small farm running as smoothly as possible. He also took on the planning, contracting and helping with the building of a new house on the farm in 1984. After retiring to Lacombe, he had more time to devote to woodworking, especially woodturning, and enjoyed the comradery of the Central Alberta Woodworks Guild.
Royce loved the peace and quiet of nature, planting many trees around the farm over the years. He greatly missed the company of the birds on the farm after moving to Lacombe, especially the chickadees.
He is survived by Linda, his wife of 50 years, son Neil (Kendra), grandchildren Carson, Leah and Kyla, son Kevin (Katy) and grandson Reuben of Wellington, New Zealand, whom he was able to meet in person several months ago, in May. In addition, he is survived by his brother Keith, sister Myra (Adolf) Raugust and sister Carol (Ed) Lukat, three nieces and one nephew, their families, one aunt and numerous cousins. Royce was predeceased by his parents, Henry and Helen Frank, and most of his aunts, uncles and some cousins.
We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Dr. McIntyre and the rest of the wonderful staff who loved and cared for Royce during his stay at Bethany Collegeside. You all treated us like family and made the journey as easy as you possibly could. We will always remember your kindness and compassion.
A Memorial Service will be held at Wilson’s Funeral Chapel (6120 Hwy 2A, Lacombe) on Friday, September 29, 2023 at 1:00 p.m., followed by a reception at the Kozy Korner (5024 53 St, Lacombe). According to Royce's wishes, cremation has already taken place.
In lieu of flowers, donations will be gratefully received by: Parkinson Association of Alberta (website: parkinsonassociation.ca or Head office:120, 6835 Railway St SE, Calgary, AB T2H 2V6); Bethany Collegeside, Red Deer in care of Bethany Care Society (website: https://bethanyseniors.com/ or head office: 100, 2915 26 Avenue SE Calgary, Alberta T2B 2W6 ); or the charity of the donors choice.
The Memorial Service for Royce will be recorded and will appear on this site shortly after the Service has been completed.
Condolences may be made by visiting www.wilsonsfuneralchapel.ca.