Birth Date: 04/15/1927
Deceased Date: 05/16/2020
Smithfield, NC – On May 16, 2020, Elizabeth Robards Royall died after a brief period of declining health. Throughout her long life, Betsy was a loving, kind, and generous wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and friend to all who knew and loved her.
Born in Henderson, NC on April 15, 1927, Betsy Ann was the daughter of the late Frank Benjamin Robards and Alice Thomas Robards. She was preceded in death by her husband Dr. Luby F. Royall, Jr; son Thomas R. Royall; and brother Frank B. Robards and wife Mildred. She is survived by her son James F. Royall and wife Cathryn; daughter Alice Lee Royall; ‘Nannie’ to grandchildren, Holden Royall, Julia Royall Johnson (Cam), Jane Royall Yarbrough (Andrew), Kelley Davidson Johnson (Luke), Jennifer Davidson Lamont (Dylan), Smith Royall, and Sam Royall; great-grandchildren, Elayna Williams, Cole Johnson, Scarlett Johnson, and Surrey Yarbrough; ‘Aunt Bet’ to niece Mary Kenyon Jones (Brooks), and nephews Frank Robards, and Jamie Robards (Suzanne); and close family friends Bryan and Lisa Benton, Elisa Benton Richter (Daniel) and Jacqueline Benton.
Growing up in Henderson, Betsy Ann was the last living member of a large, loving family that included 10 first cousins whom she remained close with all her life. When she graduated from Greensboro College, Betsy moved to Smithfield to teach school. After attending Centenary Methodist Church and joining the choir, she met Luby Royall, Sr who introduced her to his son, Dr. Luby Royall, Jr. They were married in 1952 and began a wonderful life of 42 years together before Luby’s death.
Betsy was active in Smithfield and especially Centenary, where she sang in the choir for more than 60 years; often frowning up at the balcony from the choir loft at her misbehaving sons. Betsy was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Smithfield Garden Club as well as other local civic and charitable organizations. Betsy enjoyed spending time with and hosting her many friends which included the friends of her children and grandchildren. She will be fondly remembered for Ms. Betsy’s Tea Parties that she would host for her granddaughters and their friends. In recent years, she especially enjoyed seeing her grandchildren grow up, get married, and start families of their own, and spending time with her great-grandchildren. Betsy was an active participant in life’s adventures up until the last few weeks of her life.
She was an inspiration to all who knew her and will be greatly missed but remembered always. “Well done my good and faithful servant.”
Due to current circumstances, the family will hold a private burial service. Later, there will be a memorial service and visitation held at Centenary United Methodist Church.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Centenary United Methodist Memorial Fund.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at parrishfh.com.