October 21, 1918 – November 21, 2012
William S. (Bill) Royce died peacefully in his Bend, OR home early morning on November 21, 2012 at the age of 94. Funeral Mass to be held at St. Francis of Assisi Historic Church in Downtown Bend on Friday, November 30, 2012 at 2:30 p.m. Following will be a Celebration of Life for family and friends at 4:00 p.m. in the Touchmark River Lodge Club Room (4th floor).
Royce was born in Spokane, WA on October 21, 1918 to James and Lucie Royce, the middle of five children. His father was a journalist and attorney; his mother was a teacher, musician and writer.
After receiving his B.A. degree from Gonzaga University in 1940, Royce worked as a journalist and then enlisted in the Army in April 1942. He served with the Signal Corps in Alaska as a cryptographer, and eventually became a specialist in civil affairs, joining the Allied Military Government in Germany, transferring military rule to stable civilian government. He stayed in the Army Civil Affairs Reserve, retiring in 1958 with the rank of major.
Royce and his wife of 66 years, Elizabeth (Betty) Muehlenkamp of Newport, KY, lived in Washington, D.C. from 1946-56 where Royce worked as the principal aide to a Member of Congress and then joined the Washington office of Stanford Research Institute (later renamed SRI International) in 1954.
His career as a Business Economist at SRI spanned 30 years, where he worked on a wide variety of projects and in a number of management positions. Some of his more interesting projects/assignments included:
•The first computerized studies of potential impacts of nuclear attack on the North American continent
•Feasibility and location study for what is now the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
•Leader of a Ford Foundation economic development team in New Delhi, India (where he and his family lived in 1959-60) to help the country become more economically self-sufficient
•Co-founded the SRI Long Range Planning Service (now called Business Intelligence Center), the first research-based comprehensive forecasting effort for business planners, and was its director from 1965-68
•Manager of SRI's East Asia office in Tokyo, Japan where he lived with his family from 1971-76
His major areas of interest were competitive strategies for mature and high-tech businesses, societal issues affecting business, revitalizing management, changing distribution systems, Japan-U.S. business relations and California exports. In 1995, as International Executive Service Corps volunteers, the Royces lived in Bangladesh, where he helped the Business Advisory Services Centre set up its management training programs. He was inducted into the SRI International Alumni Association Hall of Fame in 2003.
The Royces lived on the San Francisco Peninsula for more than 30 years, then relocated to Bend in 1998, living initially at Awbrey Glen, later becoming one of the first residents at Touchmark, where they have lived for the past ten years. Royce was active in St. Francis Catholic Church, the High Desert Forum and Awbrey Glen Golf Club.
Royce is survived by his wife, their four children Elizabeth (Beth) Royce Whitney of Bend, OR, William Stephen (Steve) Royce of Tigard, OR, Thomas Reilly Christopher Royce of Raleigh, NC, Susanna Royce Ross of Bend, OR, his brother, the Rev. Thomas R. Royce, S.J. of Portland, OR, his sons- and daughters-in-law and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
If anyone wishes to offer a memorial, charitable gifts may be made in his memory to the “Care of Elder Jesuits” Fund of the Society of Jesus Oregon Province: P.O. Box 86010, Portland, OR 97286-0010, www.nwjesuits.org.
Niswonger-Reynolds Funeral Home is handling all arrangements. Please sign our online guest book at www.niswonger-reynolds.com.