Scholarship: George Royal Annual Scholarship in Education Endowed Scholarship
About the Sponsor
George “Gilbert” Royal passed away on March 23, 2004 at the age of 90. Born around the San Antonio area, George spent his boyhood years in Texas and attended San Marcos College. He had nearly finished college when the Great Depression hit. He struggled to pay his tuition. He liked to tell the story how one year he lacked $1.00 and thought he might have to drop out, that he couldn’t pay for his room and board. But the owner of the house he lived in said that if his Dad would send some of the sausages he made, George could consider his board paid. So that’s what George did – he had his father send the woman some sausages and he managed to make his way through another semester of college.
The Depression hit many people hard and George was no exception. Turning down an offer of help from an uncle he barely knew, he explained that he didn’t know how he’d ever pay the uncle back. George made the decision that his education was no longer affordable and he would have to drop out.
So he “rode the rails” to Colorado and eventually to California. Along the way he served in the Civilian Conservation Corps, working on government projects, traveling with the CCC. After a couple years, he moved to California and landed a job in the glass industry. He stayed with the same manufacturing company – Latchford Glass – for 40 years rising to the position of superintendent of his division. George’s employment was interrupted by WW II when he joined the Navy and served as a Chief Petty Officer.
When he returned to California and his job, he met Ruth Wetterstroem, whom he married. Ruth was an educator, a woman of talent in the field of education, a truly dedicated teacher; someone looked up to by her family and those she touched through teaching. Working for 17 years in the Montebello School District, she enabled George to pursue ventures outside of his successful career in the glass industry, as a realtor/speculator and cattle rancher. George was a deacon and active member of two Baptist churches in Southern California. With Ruth he had two children, Mark G. Royal and Cecelia C. Royal. In addition, he is survived by four grandchildren, Joshua, Jaclyn, Zachary, and Annabel.
The embodiment of those qualities associated with the “greatest generation”, George was strong, determined, and experienced in facing some of life’s greatest challenges. His family loved and admired him very much. He would feel great satisfaction in knowing his life made a difference in helping others pursue the education he had missed.