Jerry Paul Roy, 69
Jerry Paul “J.P.” Roy, 69, of Phoenix, Arizona, died in his sleep on June 27, 2020, at his home. Funeral arrangements are pending at Clinkingbeard Funeral Home in Ava.
He was born April 20, 1951, the son of Paul and Gerry Shannon Roy. He grew up in Dora, working throughout his childhood in Roy’s Store, where he learned many lessons that would serve him later in life. He was an excellent athlete, exceling in basketball, baseball and football.
He valued education and earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing and business administration at what is now Missouri State University in Springfield. He also earned an MBA in business management from Alaska Pacific University and a doctorate degree (ABD) in organizational management and leadership from the University of Phoenix.
Mr. Roy always loved to go fast, and while he attended college in Springfield he learned to fly, earned his pilot’s license and led the college flying team to the national intercollegiate flying championship. His faculty coach, Dr. Erwin Mantei, said, “We beat all the big schools, including the Air Force Academy, and J.P. was the leader of the team and he won the Top Pilot award.”
Also while he was in college, he enlisted in Marine Corps Officer Candidate School. After graduation, he began active service, and upon completion of the platoon leaders class was accepted into flight school. He flew several aircraft, including the A4 Skyhawk fighter jet and the C-130 transport. He was active in the Marines for six years and another five years in the Marine Corp Reserves.
After the Marines, he served in the Missouri National Guard for two years, and then served full-time in the Alaska Army National Guard for another 10 years as an aviation logistics officer. He managed more than 90 technicians and was responsible for operational readiness of all aircraft. He also served as a test pilot for fixed- and rotor-wing aircraft.
While in Alaska, Mr. Roy provided logistical and other support to the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Task Force and supported efforts to save three gray whales that had become trapped by ice in Barrow. This saga captured the attention of people all over the world when the movie “Big Miracle” was made about the story.
Mr. Roy was a true patriot and was unwavering in his service to his country.
Outside of his military service, he flew many types of aircraft for private contractors in North, South and Central America. The aircraft he qualified in also included the UH-4 helicopter, Blackhawk attack helicopter, Cessna Citation, DC-3 and several others. He was known as “an aviator’s aviator” and was active in the Commemorative Air Force base at Falcon Field in Mesa, Arizona.
Mr. Roy was a lifelong student of family history and Ozark lore. From an early age, he had great interest in hearing stories from Aunt Effa Giles, Uncle Cletus Upshaw and other family historians and elders. He had immense knowledge of the family’s ancestors, particularly during the time around the Civil War. Family was especially important to Mr. Roy. He was a fellow in the Family Firm Institute.
He was active in real estate development and construction throughout his life, but he considered his greatest accomplishment as finding his wife, Rosa, the love of his life. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and great-uncle.
He is survived by his wife Rosa; his son, Jonathon; grandchildren Julia, Lukas, Rose, Liliana; his sister, Jan Kelly; brothers Monte and Chris Roy; his aunt, Sue Martin; and many nieces, nephews and friends.
Burial with full military honors will be in the Roy family cemetery in Drury. In recognition of his love for children, memorial contributions may be made to Esperanza Para Los Niños, a children’s home in Rocky Point Mexico and may be left at the funeral home. Online condolences may be expressed at clinkingbeardfuneralhome.com.
Arrangements are being handled by Clinkingbeard Funeral Home, Ava.