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Obits We Love: An Inspirational Retirement | Modern Memorials

Obits We Love: An Inspirational Retirement

Obituaries can be difficult to write. After all, one is tasked with the rather daunting task of summing up a person’s lifetime achievements during an emotional time. As we come across them, we’ll highlight obits that we think paint a particularly good—and authentic—picture of a loved one.

Elliott Royce started a successful company in commercial and industrial real estate. But it’s how he conducted himself during his retirement that was truly remarkable—and the focus on his obituary in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

At age 96, Royce went to a trampoline class three times a week. It was no doubt fun, but there was a practical purpose as well: He taught classes to seniors on how they could avoid serious injury if they fell.

Royce also liked to compete in juggling races—“joggling” races, as he called them—in which competitors run while juggling. He won his age group in a race a few months before he passed away. Though, not surprisingly, he was the only competitor in his age group.

Over the course of his retirement, Royce helped his community is small but meaningful ways. He started a book donation program and volunteered with a junior high school band, occasionally pitching in on tuba (the instrument, his daughter noted, that he would often walk around carrying to stay fit).

And he never stopped having fun. He was the first in line when a new water slide opened, and dressed as Dr. Seuss, he rode a three-wheeled bicycle in local parades. And he didn’t just save his tricycle for parades—he regularly rode around town on it.

“He didn’t care if he made mistakes. He didn’t care if he looked like a clown. He absolutely scoffed at people who scoffed at him,” said his daughter, Sandie Kaster, in his obituary. “I think he just said: I get one life, it goes fast and I’m going to take it.”

Words to live by at any stage of life.


Gayle is a DC-based writer and editor who has covered topics ranging from education to real estate ... to now urns!" We welcome any questions or comments! Please email them to 
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