March 11, 2017
For his school years he attended the one-room school in Bridgewater Corners and graduated from Woodstock High School. As a youngster he helped his dad deliver milk from their farm; did chores at the farm that belonged to his uncle, Clifford Earle, in Plymouth, and worked at Bridgewater Woolen Mill, where his dad was the master mechanic; he also helped his dad do maintenance work at the Coolidge Homestead.
He join the Navy, serving in Hawaii in 1945-46. After the war, he worked at Bridgewater Woolen Mill, Cone Automatic Machine Co. in Windsor, Joy Manufacturing, Fellows Gear Shaper and Miniature Precision Ball Bearing, and at Bryant Grinder, where he had the responsibility of a project engineer. While employed at Bryant's he obtained two patents for his original designs.
An outdoor enthusiast, he has fond memories of riding sleds and jack-jumpers on the Bridgewater hills. As skiing was becoming popular, he taught himself to ski on the steep hill behind the family farm and also skied at Gilbert's Hill (now Suicide Six) and at Pico.
He enjoyed night skiing at Mt. Ascutney with colleagues from Bryant's. In later life he became a dedicated cyclist, riding his bike on the roads around Mt. Ascutney and along the Connecticut River in Plainfield and Cornish.
He married Marilyn Houghton, whom he met when they were both working at Cone's, on March 11, 1955; Saturday was their 62nd anniversary.
Once settled in Weathersfield, he and Marilyn became active in town. Royal became proficient at wood carving and still carves today. He donated an original carving of the town seal to the Weathersfield Town Office, it's on display in the select board's meeting room.
Thanks to Patti Houghton Arrison for help with this article.
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