Frank E. Royer, 90, of Lake Waukomis, MO, passed away on Monday, January 11, 2016 at the Kansas City, MO Veterans Administration Hospital after a short illness. Appropriately, this was the very hospital Frank volunteered his services to for the last 28 years. The family is hosting an open-house remembrance of Frank at the Parkville, MO VFW Post 7356, where he was a lifelong member, on Saturday, January 30, 2016, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm.
Frank was born February 22, 1925 in Kansas City, MO and is survived by his wife Bernadette Royer of 49 years and their six children, son Craig Royer (Kathy), daughter Leslie (Royer) Henderson, step-sons Ron Wassenaar (Celeste) and Wayne Wassenaar (Donna), step-daughters Barbara Wassenaar and Carolen (Wassenaar) Tharp (Randall), nine grandchildren, Monica Royer, Jennifer Royer, Christopher Fulbright (Saundra), Camren Nowak (Eric), Michael Wassenaar (Jennifer), Aaron Wassenaar (Hope), Richard Wassenaar, Rachel Tharp, Samuel Tharp and three great-grandchildren, Ethan Hawn, Andrew Wassenaar and Aliza Wassenaar.
After college, Frank worked for 30 years at the General Motors Fairfax plant in Kansas City, KS until his retirement in 1980. Frank maintained a very active life throughout his retirement, traveling and vacationing in almost every state, plus made trips to Europe and Canada. Frank was a real adventurer. He also discovered running after retiring, competitively competing in many KC area races over the years, including a marathon. Frank loved running and is thought to be the only person to have competed in the first 25 Groundhog Runs. His other pastimes were snow skiing and fishing. Frank was also very active in his Lake Waukomis community, where he volunteered countless hours for many causes, including a stint as Captain of the Lake Waukomis Volunteer Fire Department. In addition to the VA Hospital, Frank also volunteered his services to St. Luke’s Northland Hospital for the last 16 years.
Frank proudly served his country during WWII. He joined the US Army in 1943 at 18 years old, eventually becoming part of the 2nd Infantry Division, 9th Infantry Regiment, Rifle Company K. After landing on French shores during the French Normandy Campaign in the summer of 1944 and helping to liberate French cities that were key German strongholds, Frank and his Rifle Company K fought and were captured by the Germans on December 18, 1944 in the Battle of the Bulge. He was one of only a handful of soldiers who survived, spending the last six months of WWII in a German prisoner-of-war camp before being freed after the Germans surrendered to the Allies in May 1945. For his actions, Frank earned two Purple Hearts, the Bronze Star, the Knight of the French Legion of Honor medal and many other awards.
In addition to the Parkville VFW Post 7356, Frank was also a proud lifetime member of the American Ex-Prisoners of War Organization, Heart of America Chapter, Kansas City, MO, where he also was Past Chapter Commander, the Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge, The Military Order of the Purple Heart and Disabled American Veterans, respectively.
VFW Post 7356, 10125 MO Highway 45 (Tom Watson Parkway), Parkville, MO 64152. The Meyers Northland Chapel in Parkville, MO has been entrusted with final arrangements. Memories of Frank and condolences to the family may be shared at meyersfuneralchapel.com.