Royal Vernon Smithey, age 78, of Sutherlin, Oregon, passed away at home on February 14, 2018, surrounded by loved ones. He was born on February 12, 1940, in Elco, Illinois, to Virgil Vernon and Clara Juanita Smithey, the oldest of their nine children.
In 1958, he met Elora Simmons, and married her three years later on November 11, 1961. They had two sons and moved to Oregon in 1971.
Royal bravely battled Alzheimer’s for 17 years, being cared for by his loving and devoted wife. He also recently battled bladder cancer.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Sonny; and best friend, Charles Wigtion. He is survived by wife, Elora; two sons, Randy Smithey, David and wife, Clara Smithey; six grandchildren, Curtis, Tyler, Rylan, Jeff, Amber and Tessa; 11 great-grandchildren; siblings, Marilyn, Janice, Doris, Kathy, Dale, Alberta and Paul; numerous brothers and sisters-in-law, nephews and nieces all of whom Royal held dear.
Royal was a man of many talents and passions, but nothing meant more to him than his family. He was an avid photographer and videographer as well as a talented guitar player. He loved to collect rocks and gems which he used to make jewelry for family members. He enjoyed fishing, gardening and working outdoors. He spent many years as a long-haul truck driver and loved road trips, especially while traveling with the love of his life, Elora. He is remembered for his amazing sense of humor. He laughed and smiled easily even through all the pain he endured toward the end of his life.
A memorial service and potluck will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, February 24, 2018, at Liberty Christian Fellowship, 3380 NE Diamond Lake Blvd. Royal's nephew, Pastor Dale Dickson will officiate. The service is open to all of those who knew and loved Royal.
We grieve the loss of a great man, but not as those without hope. Our hope is in heaven where it is proclaimed, "Oh death, where is your sting? Oh grave, where is your victory?"