Tuesday, April 2, 2013

San Carlos Just Won't Be the Same...

Last week my parents informed me that their good friend, Randy Royce, who had been battling cancer heroically for many years finally lost the fight and passed away. I knew that they said it would likely happen soon, but it still made my heart so heavy and it instantly began to ache. It ached for his family. It ached for his friends. But, it also ached for San Carlos and the world. It's so cliche, but the world has really lost a completely and truly inspiring person.

Randy & Yvette with my dad circa 2010
Randy was not like a second dad to me, as my family and his were not that close. I grew up going to school with his oldest son, Roger, and my brother played soccer with his younger son, Todd. My mom grew friendly with his wife, Yvette, and also with Randy himself through PTA events at first and then with countless City of San Carlos committee's and events. Randy was that community guy that seemed to be involved in everything! I never even knew if he had a "real job" as it seemed almost impossible since, how could anyone have time for all of the community service and committees and organizations that Randy was involved in and have a full time job?! The best part about Randy was just how genuinely nice he was. He was just one of those people who really did make people feel welcomed, at ease, optimistic, and even energized in his presence.
My favorite photo from our wedding taken by THE amazing Randy Royce

It's not like every time I go home for a visit I would see him, but just knowing that he is not in The City of Good Living doing all the good that he always did, walking around with a giant smile and an open ear, toting his camera taking amazing photos, makes me super sad.

It's one of those times that I sit baffled and pondering the meaning of life, the way things work, my concept of karma and my own beliefs in a higher power. How can this happen to such a wonderful person and also to one of the best families?

My thoughts and prayers are truly with Yvette, Roger, Todd and anyone else who has a heavy heart at the loss of Randy Royce.

The following is the write up from the City of San Carlos regarding Randy's truly amazing life. I hope someone writes a full biography on him someday as I am sure it would be an inspirational and interesting read.

From: <eNotify@CityofSanCarlos.org>
Date: March 26, 2013 5:29:48 PM PDT
To: Undisclosed recipients:;
Subject: Former Mayor Randy Royce Passes Away

San Carlos, CA - March 26, 2013 - It is with sadness that the City of San Carlos learned earlier this afternoon of the passing of Former Mayor Randy Royce at his home in San Carlos after a long battle with cancer.  

Royce was elected to the City Council in 2007 and served one term from 2007 through December 2011.  During his tenure on the City Council, he served as Vice Mayor and Mayor.

In addition to his service on the City Council, Royce also served the City as a member of the History, Arts & Science Commission, the Economic Development Advisory Commission, the Residential Design Review Committee and the Planning Commission.  

Royce was also involved in countless volunteer programs and groups including serving as the Chairman of the San Carlos 75th Anniversary Committee, a Coach of AYSO Soccer, the San Carlos Museum Board, the San Carlos Sister Cities Association and the Canada College Presidential Advisory Committee.  

Flags at City Buildings were lowered to half-staff this afternoon in Royce's honor.

In 2011, the San Carlos Chamber of Commerce and the City of San Carlos presented the San Carlos Citizen of the Year Award to Royce.  When presented with the award, Royce was lauded for his service to the community and his time on the City Council.  

During his term as Mayor in 2010 and following the San Bruno explosion and fire, Royce met with PG&E officials to request hydrostatic testing of natural gas lines.  As a result, San Carlos became one of the first cities in the State whose natural gas lines were tested in this manner and were upgraded with automatic shut off valves.

Royce also presided over a City Council charged with finding ways of maintaining or increasing the level of City services while reducing costs.  He was instrumental in moving the city from a $3.5 Million structural deficit to a budget surplus of over $500,000 in just over a year while simultaneously raising the level of services to the community in the areas of Police, Fire, and Parks & Recreation.  This creative approach to budget balancing led to the City of San Carlos receiving the prestigious Helen Putnam Award for Innovative Financial Programs from the League of California Cities in 2012.

His desire to help others extends beyond San Carlos as Royce traveled to Pass Christian, Mississippi with the San Carlos community relief effort, helping the citizens there rebuild after Hurricane Katrina.  

He and his wife, Yvette, raised two sons in San Carlos where Randy coached AYSO soccer.  In addition, he served as a member of the History of San Carlos Museum Board, the San Carlos Sister Cities Association and the Canada College Presidential Advisory Board.

Mayor Bob Grassilli said: "San Carlos has lost a great leader and citizen today.  Randy Royce was someone who always gave his energy, passion and heart to everything he was involved with.  He has given so much to the San Carlos community.  He will be sorely missed but his many contributions will be remembered and treasured by all of us."

Council Member Ron Collins said "Randy Royce was a close friend and mentor.  During his service to the City as a Planning Commissioner, City Council Member and Mayor, he had the courage to make many tough decisions that have and will continue to benefit the City for many years to come.  We are all better for having known him and are grateful to the many contributions he made to the City of San Carlos."

During his term on the City Council, Royce also served on several committees and boards representing the City and City Council including the 2+2 City Council/School Board Joint Committee, the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) - City Council Representative, C/CAG Regional Housing Needs Assessment Committee, San Mateo County Council of Cities, City Council Finance Subcommittee, Housing and Regional Trust (HEART) Board of Directors (appointed by the Mayors in San Mateo County), League of California Cities Peninsula Division, Parks and Recreation Commission (Council Liaison), San Carlos Together, Wheeler Plaza Subcommittee, Council Liaison to the Harbor Industrial Association (HIA), San Mateo County Library JPA Board and Alternate Council Representative on the South Bayside System Authority Board (SBSA).

Royce received an M.B.A degree from USC and spent 23 years at Hewlett-Packard where he worked on several complex, high-tech investment scenarios.  During his time at HP's Agilent division, Royce was acting Chief Financial Officer of three Silicon Valley start-ups where he provided leadership, financial consulting and communication with management, investors and the Board of Directors.

His personal interests included photography, San Carlos history, woodworking, travel, long walks with his dog Mia, skiing and golf.  

Royce often was seen taking high quality photos at City Events like Hometown Days as the unofficial "City Photographer".  His photos also appear in the book "San Carlos Stories: An Oral History of San Carlos" written by Carlmont High School History Teacher Linda Wickert Garvey.

Randy is survived by his wife Yvette and his two sons Todd and Roger.  A memorial service for him is planned at the Hiller Aviation Museum.  Further details on the service will be forthcoming.


Contact :

Bob Grassilli, Mayor    (650) 802-4160

Brian Moura, Assistant City Manager    (650) 802-4210


1 comment:

  1. Randy is a one of a kind guy. My favorite quote by Jackie Robinson certainly applies to Randy. "A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives."


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