Long Time Civic Rights Leader Remembered


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Had memorial services. This is how some remembered him. Curtis Robinson said “he was a great warrior and it all started years ago on Ash Street.” Marilyn Miller said “16 or 17 years ago when she was looking for a job, Claudie Royals gave her a great recommendation.” Mrs. Camille Parrish — Claudie Royal’s favorite teacher spoke of their special bonds. She said “she could never turn Claudie down on any project in which he asked for help.” She said “that Claudie has written a novel and that it certainly needs to be printed.” Councilman Anthony Williams said “Claudie lifted people up.” {{more}} Willie Ford of the Abilene Police Department said” that Claudie was persistent by how he would sit and wait for hours to make sure that he was able to visit with the proper authorities.” One of the most poignant stories came from a sister-in-law who told us how Claudie took care of his mother at a very young age as she was dying of breast cancer. It was at that time that Claudie made the decision that he would always stand up and he would fight for those that were disenfranchised for whatever reason. Floyd Miller who served on the Hope Drug Counseling board with Claudie said “he was a big man with big ideas.” Eddie Cockrell attorney and long time friend said “the lyrics from Man of La Mancha “The Impossible Dream” best sums up Claudie’s life.”Claudie C. Royal ObituaryClaudie was born in Marlin, Texas, February 15, 1945. Claudie was the son of the late Joe and Elizabeth Maxwell. He was reared in Abilene, where he graduated from Woodson High School, an attended Cisco Jr. College. He was a member of Plum Street United Methodist Church. Claudie was employed for 18 years with the Keebler Cookie Company where he was an assistant manager, and a truck driver. Claudie married Lula M. Lockett-Royals on April 13, 1964, and to union was born: Michael T. Royals, Cedric Royals, , Michelle Royals of Abilene, Mitchell Royals, and Matthias Royals, all of Abilene; Five grandchildren: Mylles, Michel Ryan, BriAnna, Myller, and Mylliah. Others left to cherish his memories are brother; Willie Maxwell, Freddie Royals, both of Los Angeles, California, and host of nephew, nieces, cousins, and in-laws.Claudie was a visionary and a man for all seasons. Anyone who really knew him could not help but love him. He will be remembered for planning many community activities and his boldness in executing his plans. He dedicated his life to the youth, the elderly, the truly disadvantaged and those in the community that stood in need of assistance in many endeavors.Many words could be used to describe Claudie, maverick, radical, loyal, quarrelsome, unusual, bold, civic-minded, aggressive, and dedicated. Claudie must be applauded because of these traits and his love for equitable treatment for all men. He has a special love for the disadvantaged. He dedicated his life for their welfare to the point of being accused of neglecting his family for the benefit of others. It is often said that one person can only do so much, but Claudie never accepted this fact. He kept going, and doing, until his health would not allow him to go and do anymore. When his health deteriorated to the point that he could no longer provide assistance to those he had dedicated so much of this life to, his chief concern became who will pick-up the torch. His work was noticed, and appreciated by the many people he helped, young and old, professional and non-professional, white-collar, and blue collar, and all races. Many awards have been bestowed on him, the NAACP, . Lulac, Abilene Black Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Abilene. Claudie accepted the awards with great appreciation, but Claudie did not help others for personal recognition. Helping others especially those who could not help themselves was a part of him, he would have helped if no one knew but him, and the person he assisted.In 1979, as President of the Abilene Taylor County Chapter of the NAACP, Claudie influenced the state leadership to bring the State Convention to Abilene. In 1970, Claudie became an Associate Minister of Plum Street Methodist Church. In 1979, he initiated the All Schools Woodson Reunion. The reunion has become a major event for Woodson students and their descendants.In 1980, Claudie organized the annual march honoring the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Today the march and related activities are widely acknowledged by the citizens of Abilene. In 1981, Claudie was the driving force behind the development of a park constructed in the Pasadena Heights neighborhood. Through Claudie’s influence, the park was named to the late Mr. Nelson Wilson Sr., a community leader and long time resident of Abilene. In 1987, Claudie organized the back to school annual picnics for the youth in Abilene, designed to assist the youth in making the annual transition from recreation and summer work study and school work. In 1989, Claudie established H.O.P.E., an organization designed to help those who had become in involved in the drug culture, and preventing others from becoming involved and defeating the “monster of drug addiction.” This program was highly successful In 1994, Claudie hosted a banquet to honor Abilene’s Senior Citizens from the Carver Community. In 1995, he was honored with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Human Services Award, and on February 23, 2006, the City of Abilene honored him by proclaiming Claudie Royals Day.

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