It is with heavy hearts that we inform you of the death of one of the sweetest ladies on this earth. Rowena Mary Royal died peacefully in her sleep Thursday, June 24, 2021, early in the morning at Settler’s Park Memory Care in Baker City, OR.
Rowena Mary Paulus was born on August 11, 1931, in Los Angeles, CA to Walter & Mabel (Briggs) Paulus and sister Joan Sanders who was to become her best friend, they laughed all the time! As a young child, she contracted tuberculosis, depending heavily on her family, especially her mother for 2 years of her life. Rowena attended Franklin High School in Los Angeles and was a member of the drill team. She married Benedict C. Lager (Lucky), they had two sons, Terry Michael Lager and Thomas Allan Lager, and later divorced. When the boys and her nephew (James Sanders) were young, she and her sister took pride in choosing a theme and sewing matching Halloween costumes for the local school parade. On a few occasions, they walked away with awards for their creative efforts.
On September 9, 1967, she married the Love of Her Life, Leland Harry Royal in Saugus, CA.
Rowena worked as a bank teller at Crocker Citizens National Bank until she and Lee moved to Pinehurst, CA. She never missed a sporting event that the kids participated in from Pop Warner through High School. Lee ran a road crew through the Kings Canyon Park while she enjoyed reading and sewing as she was an accomplished seamstress (and knitting as well). She would sew shirts for the whole family and could repair and patch any article of clothing which she did on a regular basis for the neighbor’s kids as well. She also loved to cook and feed people, making sure everyone always had enough to eat. She ALWAYS had chocolate chip cookies for everyone, just like her mother had. Upon Lee’s retirement, they moved to Baker City, OR with plans to be near her sister and her son Thomas. Unfortunately, her sister passed away only months before their arrival.
Rowena was happiest when she was with her family and she never got tired of spending time with her grandchildren. She enjoyed very special relationships with several of her friends, her daughter Linda Royal and her niece Michele Juba.
Her last 3 ½+ years were spent at Settlers Park Assisted Living and then Memory Care. She loved the people there and they loved her (they even let her keep her cat “Taffy” in her room). We will forever be grateful for the loving care that they provided for her there; and also the tender care of the Heart and Home Hospice staff. Thank you!
It’s interesting how many wonderful memories come flooding back at a time like this, it’s so strange the sadness and the relief combined that also comes. For the Lager, Royal, Juba, and Sanders families knowing she is at peace and reunited with Lee, her folks and sister is very comforting to us all. We will always remember her smile and her laughter! She will surely be missed.
Rowena was preceded in death by her parents, Walter & Mabel Paulus, Her beloved husband Leland Royal, and her sister Joan Sanders. She is survived by her sons Terry Lager, Tom Lager, and wife, Betty. Lee’s children (who she considered her own): Linda Royal, Brad Royal, and Cliff Royal. Grandchildren: Errin (Neil) Rust, Kelly (Tim) Nork, Misty Roberts, Jake Lager, Grace Lager, and her Step Granddaughter Tami (Ken) Simon as well as several great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren, her niece Michele (Robert) Juba and her nephew James (Sharen) Sanders.
Memorial Contributions may be made to Best Friends of Baker through Coles Tribute Center at 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.
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