Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes

1730 East Grand River Ave, East Lansing, MI


John Roy Black

August 21, 1941June 27, 2020

Dr. J. Roy Black, age 78, of Okemos, passed away peacefully on June 27, 2020, after a long and courageous battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife Dr. Lois J. Karl of Okemos. He was born in Great Falls, Montana, and earned his undergraduate degree from Montana State University. He earned his PhD in Agricultural Economics from the University of Minnesota and joined the faculty of the Agricultural Food and Resource Economics Department at Michigan State University (MSU) in 1970, where he spent his entire academic career. Professor Black held a three-way academic appointment at MSU in extension, teaching, and research. For over 25 years of his career he was involved in crop insurance research, both nationally and internationally. He developed a novel approach to crop risk analysis for which he received national recognition. He won numerous academic awards and was especially recognized for his ability to solve applied (real world) economic problems facing farmers. Roy was a wonderful resource for all his colleagues, inside and outside of his department, and will be remembered especially for helping students recognize that real world problems, unlike homework assignments, often have no one right solution. He will be missed by his family, friends, and colleagues. No memorial service will be held.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


John Roy Black

have a memory or condolence to add?

Amorette Allison

July 5, 2020

Definitely family, even if not terribly close. I do remember him sending a photo to Grandpa when John got his doctorate. John was wearing a Mickey Mouse tie and that amused my parents no end. My mother often referred to him as "Butch" or even "Punky." No one probably remembers those nicknames now.

Bartley Freese

July 5, 2020

Never really got to know my cousin well, but do remember how much my mother enjoyed when John visited. You can certainly see the family resemblance. The Montana relatives are thinking of you.

Dr. Jack McEowen

July 1, 2020

The finest man, both personally and professionally, I have ever known. As a student and later as a MSU faculty member, he was, and remains, an admired friend. Lois, let me know if I can help.