11/12/1936 – 01/14/2024
Earlene Reynolds Royston was born on November 12, 1936, in Prescott, Arkansas to Thirl Reynolds, Sr. and Ruth Thelma Futch Reynolds (both deceased). She had one brother, Thirl Reynolds, Jr. (deceased) and one sister, Susie Reynolds Meeks.
Earlene accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior, and was baptized at an early age. She was a member of Munn’s Chapel Baptist Church in Prescott, Arkansas. She attended McRae high school, an all-Black institution and graduated with the second highest grade point average in her class of 1955.
At the age of eighteen, she married her high school sweetheart, Buford Leevell Royston (Stonie). Buford was in the United States Air Force, and they left Prescott to travel around the US and overseas. Buford and Earlene were married for 43 years. He preceded her in death 6 months ago.
From this union there were five children:
Russell Earl Royston, Roy Allen Royston, Peggy Regina Royston, Stefanie Diane Royston-McKee, married to Kevin McKee, and Stacey Elizabeth Royston. Earlene and Stonie also raised their granddaughter Vanessa Marie Royston.
Earlene had four beautiful granddaughters: Victoria Earlene Royston, Vanessa Marie Royston, Jalyn Allison McKee, and Jayna Elaine McKee.
One loving great granddaughter Peyton Christene Royston and one amazing great grandson Nickolas Alexander Royston-Pena.
Earlene was a beloved mother. She was wise, caring, and loving. She always said, “I never had an outside job but…” and then would go on to give you the most incredible advice. She loved life and she loved being a homemaker. She excelled at creating a loving environment for all of her children to grow and flourish. Earlene loved to play the piano. She wanted piano lessons as a child, so she drew out a keyboard on a large piece of paper. She studied, practiced, and learned the notes using that piece of paper. When she became an adult, she finally got the piano lessons she wanted and participated in three piano recitals! She also was a big basketball fan. One of her favorite outings was attending Phoenix Suns games with her favorite son in law. She loved to attend family reunions, McRae high school reunions, and go on family vacations. Her daughter Peggy would take her to beach getaways, and as a family she loved our trips to Disneyland and Fort Tuthill. Family nights were the highlight of her life! Being surrounded by her children, grand children, and great grandchildren all singing Karaoke songs brought her so much joy. Stacey’s rendition of “I Will Survive” always made her giggle! All of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren contributed to the joy she felt at family parties and gatherings. Her family adored her!
Earlene was a Sunday School teacher, and she co taught 4th grade at the African American Christian Training School with her daughter Stefanie. She opened her own private daycare she lovingly called “Nanu’s School” so that her granddaughters had a safe place to learn and play. Both of her little graduates could read fluently by the time they were 3. As a tribute to her, they were both baptized this year on her 87th birthday! Earlene truly loved the Lord and lived by His Word. She will be sorely missed.
Earlene leaves behind to cherish her memory her children, son in law, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, along with her sister Susie Reynolds Meeks (Leo), sister in law Lydia Reynolds, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
In Earlene’s Own Words: “See you again at our family reunion in heaven!” “I love you all so very much.” Love, Mom, Mother, Nana and Nanu.
A memorial service for Earlene will be held Wednesday, January 31, 2024 at 10:00 AM at Surprise Funeral Care, 16063 W Bell Rd, Surprise, Arizona 85374.