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Longtime Jessamine County Educator Dies

By: Tamara Evans Email
By: Tamara Evans Email

Herbert H. "Pete" Royse Jr., who spent 43 years working in the Jessamine County school system, lost his battle with cancer on Saturday.

His family says 68-year-old Royse was diagnosed about five years ago, but that didn't stop him from doing the things he loved or from being a big part of the community.

Right now in Jessamine County, you'll find flags at half-staff at all the schools and the Board of Education building, which was recently renamed for him on May 6th.

Royse's family says the Jessamine County native was heavily involved in the school system, once as a bus driver, teacher, and then administrator.

A 1958 graduate of Nicholasville High School, he taught science in the school system before moving into an administration position, serving for many years as Jessamine County's assistant superintendent for business and finance.

"At one time when he was in semi-retirement we had a need for an interim superintendent and Pete stepped in", says Karl Smith, chairman of the Jessamine County Board of Education.

"He had coached the high school basketball team and was an all-state athlete himself", says David Royse, Pete Royse's son.

David Royse says although his father was battling cancer, it didn't stop him from living his life to the fullest.

"He continued to work, play golf, and just in the last few weeks his cancer had progressed and that happened very swiftly", says David Royse.

Royse says his fathers impact reached beyond the school system. He also played a big part in the community.

"He was involved with the senior citizen center and involved in starting little league football and baseball here", says Royse.

Royse says his father is truly someone who has made an impact in Jessamine County.

"His influence has been felt for decades already and will probably be felt for decades after he's gone", says David Royse.

"You're still never prepared to lose someone of the caliber of Pete Royse", says Karl Smith.

In addition to David Royse, Mr. Royse is survived by his wife, Mary Sue Willis Royse, and another son, Mark Royse.

Visitation will be from 4 to 9 p.m. Monday at Betts and West Funeral Home in Nicholasville. Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home.


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