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U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Robert Laurier Roy, Lt. Colonel, USAF (Retired)April 22, 1921 – February 24, 2014
Robert Laurier Roy, 92, went home to be with our Lord on Monday, February 24th, 2014. He passed away at Life Care Center of Tullahoma due to medical complications.
Rob was born in Winslow, Maine to Ernest and Demerise Roy. He is preceded in death by his parents and his wife of fifty-three years, Ota V. (Holly) Holloway, of Rochelle, Illinois, his two sisters, Dorothy Lizotte and Yvette Giroux, and his youngest brother, Raymond Roy. Rob is survived by his younger brother, Gerald Roy and Mary, of Waterville, Maine and his four daughters, Diana Wisneski of Uniontown, Ohio, Jackie Roy of Smyrna, Tennessee, Theresa Devlin of Tullahoma, Tennessee, and Linda Roy of McKinney, Texas.
Rob graduated from Winslow High School. He also received his pilot’s license from the Civilian Pilot Training Program in Augusta, Maine. In September 1942, he was drafted into the military and was sworn in as a private in the Army. He was sent to Camp Maxey for basic training and was assigned to Company “D”, 407th Infantry, 102nd Division. Upon his first three day pass, he took aptitude tests at the aviation recruiting station in Dallas, Texas and transferred to the Army Air Corp. Most of his flight training was conducted in the Central Training Command in Oklahoma where he was later commissioned as a second lieutenant. In 1944, Robert reported to the 4th Emergency Rescue Squadron being formed at Kessler Field, Mississippi. He spent the next couple of years serving in the Pacific Theatre at locations such as Guam, Saipan, and Iwo Jima. After a brief stint in the Active Reserve in Bangor, Maine, Rob was called back into duty in 1949 and assigned to the Air Rescue Squadron at Westover Base, Massachusetts where he flew SA-16 amphibians. Robert was later assigned to rescue in Goose Bay, Canada, where he was the only helicopter pilot, and later to Phalsbourg, France. Upon disbanding the helicopter unit, Robert was stationed and served four more years in Wiesbaden Air Base in Germany. After his European tour, Robert brought his family to Smyrna, Tennessee and was stationed at Sewart Air Base, where he flew C-130s and served multiple overseas tours. He continued his military career with the 21st Special Operations Squadron stationed in Thailand, flying twin engine jet helicopters for a year before returning back to Smyrna to stay and raise his family. Robert obtained his B.S. degree in political science from MTSU while in the military. Upon the closure of Sewart Air Base and transitioning his squadron to Little Rock, Arkansas,
Robert retired from the United States Air Force, attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He served 28 years in the United States Air Force and received many ribbons and awards for his valiant service, among these being the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star Medal, and the Soldier’s Medal.
Robert and Holly made their home in Smyrna for over 50 years and became very involved in the community upon Rob’s retirement from military service. Rob taught ROTC for a few years before deciding to start his second career as a realtor opening Roy Real Estate, which he operated for over twenty years. He was also very involved with the Smyrna Housing Authority and championed housing for anyone in need and a desire to achieve the American dream of home ownership.
Robert was a member of the Smyrna Rotary Club and had perfect attendance for 39 years, serving as Club President from 1985-1986. Rob also worked diligently with the annual Smyrna Air Show and became a Paul Harris Fellow in 1986. Robert’s love of flying continued even after his military retirement as he was a member of the Middle-Tennessee Flying Club for over thirty years. Rob and Holly were instrumental in the establishment of St. Luke Catholic Church in Smyrna, where Rob served tirelessly on the church Building Committee, Finance Committee, Parish Council, the Knights of Columbus, and the Haiti Medical Mission.
Visitation will be Thursday evening, February 27th, at Woodfin Chapel, Smyrna from 5-8 PM; the funeral service will be on Friday, February 28th at 11:00 am at St. Luke’s Catholic Church on the Old Nashville Highway Burial will be at Roselawn Memorial Gardens.
In lieu of flowers, donations may also be made to St. Luke’s Catholic Church attention to the Haiti Medical Mission. The family of Robert Roy would like to extended tremendous thanks and appreciation to the staff and nurses of Life Care Center of Tullahoma for their loving, daily support and care of their father.
~ GUEST BOOK ~
February 28, 2014Linda and family, I am sorry for your loss, and I will keep your family in my prayers. I have so enjoyed the stories that Linda has shared about her father; Robert Roy must have been a wonderful man. May those stories and your memories ease your grief in the coming days.~Ruth Fitzsimmons
February 28, 2014My family has lost a very dear friend of almost 50 years. Our loss is heaven’s gain. Our condolences to the four daughters and their families.~Lottie Whitmore, Smyrna, Tennessee
February 28, 2014Diana & Family, So sorry for your loss. May the fond memories you hold dear comfort you today and sustain you in the difficult days ahead. God Bless. Ralph Comer, SHS Class of ’68~Ralph Comer, Brentwood, Tennessee
February 27, 2014Diana, Jackie, Theresa & Linda, Our deepest sympathy to you in the loss of your dad. What a wonderful man he was. You had 2 loving parents who set by example. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.~Donna & David Bucher, Troy, Ohio
February 27, 2014Linda, What a life! It sounds as if he thoroughly enjoyed his time here to the fullest. I know that you and your sisters are sadden by his departure and will miss him. Peace and healing to your family. May God’s grace strengthen you.~DP Cela, Hardeeville, South Carolina
February 27, 2014Linda, I want to express my condolences on the passing of your father. He lived a rich, full life and I hope that you and your family find comfort in that. You are in my thoughts and prayers.~Karen Thorne, Columbus, Ohio
February 27, 2014Linda, I am so sorry for the passing of your dad. I know how much you cared for him based on past conversations. He lived a great long life and I know you and your sisters will cherish his memories. I have been praying for you and your family and will continue as you make it through this difficult time. I pray the peace of God that surpasses all understanding would overtake you. God bless you and your family.~Michael Herron, Denton, Texas
February 27, 2014Linda, I never had the privilege of meeting your father, but based on the character and qualities exhibited by his daughters, he was a wonderful man and father. I hope it helps to know how many people are lifting you and your sisters up for God’s grace and love during this difficult time. God bless you all.~Red & Joanne Shaw, Decatur, Texas
February 27, 2014Linda, I know how much you loved your dad and you have my deepest sympathy. I’ll pray for strength and comfort for you and your family during this difficult time.~Debbie Skipworth, Fort Worth, Texas
February 27, 2014Your Father sounds like an exceptional person, your family is in our prayers.~Ron Noel, Columbus, Ohio
February 27, 2014There is no greater legacy than a life well-lived…and your father seems to have done that better than most. Blessings on you and your sisters as you journey through this difficult transition; may God comfort you and lift you up.~Micki Caskey, Cardington, Ohio
February 27, 2014I lament over the loss of a great man who served his Country (& Family) with such vigor and dedication. He was a devoted Countryman, Citizen, Husband and Father who will be dearly missed. It is apparent that he gave all of himself to the greater causes, larger than self, with passion for the outcomes that would live on.
I’m so sorry to hear of Mr. Roy’s passing. We can all only hope to have lived such a life, so well.
In his memory, please know that those left behind have the support and prayers of many.
Wishing the immediate family and close friends our very best.~Patrick Boyd, Columbus, Ohio
February 27, 2014Linda, may you find comfort and healing from family and friends during this time of loss. You are in my prayers for God to comfort you and remind you often of the wonderful memories you have of your dad.~Karen Hodges, Georgetown, Indiana
February 27, 2014Hi Linda – I am so, so sorry to hear about your dad. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
“The Lord is my strength and my shield. My heart trusts in Him” Psalm 18:7
May God carry you through the next few weeks. While you are grieving, I hope you can also remember the good times you spend withyour dad.
February 27, 2014My family and I will be in constant prayer for the strength of your family during this difficult time.~Virginia Lewis, Dallas, Texas
February 27, 2014With deepest sympathy, my family prays for the comfort of your family at this time of bereavement. Know that God is by your side as you take this journey. You are in our thoughts.~Sylvia G. Lee, Columbus, Ohio
February 26, 2014Col Roy was such a fine gentle man. He and his precious Holly were your ideal couple. They had much love for all. Truly good people. With Sincere Sympathy~Lois and Dick Johns
February 26, 2014So sorry for your loss. Mr. Roy was a great man. It was an honor to serve with him in the Smyrna Rotary. My family will keep your family lifted up in prayer during this time of bereavement.~Keta Barnes, Smyrna, Tennessee
February 26, 2014Our deepest sympathy goes to the whole Roy family. You will always keep loving memories close to your heart. He was an kind and loving man and will be greatly missed.~Steve and Betty Wisneski
February 25, 2014From our association in the Mid Tenn Flying Club to working together in the Rotary Club for many years, Col Roy was always a true gentleman and a pillar. We will miss him very much.~Paul and Cathy Lamb~Paul Lamb, Smyrna, Tennessee
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