James Royce Thornal

James Royce Thornal


James Royce Thornal of Red Oak, Texas passed away on January 9, 2021, at the age of 77 and is in the presence of his Lord and Savior, singing in the heavenly choir.

Royce was born in Waco, Texas on December 2, 1943, to James Augustus (J.A.) and Fannie (Hill) Thornal where he grew up with older brother, Charles. Royce graduated from University High School where a love for basketball flourished. Royce had a unique combination of talents. He graduated from Baylor University in 1966. After college, his career began as a high school basketball coach and teacher. While connecting to the younger generation, he served as a music and youth director then eventually becoming a pastor. Royce served on staff at various Texas churches in the cities of Bellmead, Waco, Houston, McAllen, Mexia, Woodway, Liberty, DeSoto, North Richland Hills, and Waxahachie. Plus, he also helped to establish successful Christian schools in several of these churches. He also worked in helping schools with fundraising opportunities through the Liberty Card of Texas. Royce became a licensed Texas insurance adjuster after Hurricane Katrina. He, alongside Janita, served as an on-site Cares Team through Apartment Life. Upon retiring, he was a beloved substitute at DeSoto ISD.

Survived by wife, Janita Dickinson Thornal; children, Wendy (Shannon) Morris, Kevin (Danielle) Thornal; and stepdaughter Kelsie (Jeremy) Irion; grandchildren: Tory (Ryan) Landis, Cody Morris, Madison Thornal, Jax Thornal; and stepgrandchildren, Kolten Irion and Kahlen Irion; great-granddaughter, Blakely Landis; brother, Charles (Dorothy) Thornal; niece and nephew. Preceded in death by parents, J.A. and Fannie Thornal; and daughter, D'Ann Thornal.

A "Celebration of Life" Memorial will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, February 6, at Farley Street Baptist Church; 1116 Brown Street; Waxahachie, TX. His body was donated to science through the UNT Willed Body Program.

Posted online on January 27, 2021