Rosemary T. Royce

Published 12:20 pm Friday, April 7, 2023

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MURFREESBORO – Rosemary Thomas Royce, age 82, passed away on April 3, 2023 at ECU Health Medical Center in Greenville, NC.

Mrs. Royce was born in the mill town of Belmont, North Carolina, and she carried the hardworking and down-to-earth spirit of her family throughout the entirety of her life. She was deeply passionate about nursing, and over a sixty-year career as a nurse, she held numerous positions and served countless people. She helped to found the local women’s shelter, SAFE, and a mental health crisis line. She worked for many years as a mental health nurse practitioner before becoming a family nurse practitioner at the Northampton County Health Department and Port Health Substance Abuse Center. Her passion for service and nursing was not limited to her own community, though, and she did medical humanitarian work in both China and Haiti.

Rosemary loved all things about nature and supported many wildlife and conservation charities. She loved gardening, playing with her granddogs, collecting shells, and traveling to the mountains and beach. She also loved her friends, coworkers, community, and was a committed member of Murfreesboro Baptist Church for 55 years.

She and her devoted husband Phil loved to serve others together. They started their married life as missionaries, and continued to serve their community in many ways, whether it be fundraising for the high school band or going on a hurricane recovery mission trip. They had fun together, marching with the high school band as the band grandparents, or more recently, just going to get a pedicure together.

Her truest passion was her family. She was a devoted mother, grandmother, and wife, and she loved nothing more than to delight in the memories she shared with her people. Rosemary was a deeply generous person who never turned away from anyone in need of help. She was selfless, kind, and a fierce supporter of those she loved.

Rosemary leaves behind her husband and best friend of 62 years, Phil Royce; her son, Jon Royce and wife Cindy Royce; her daughter, Karen Warr and husband Richard Warr; four grandchildren, Zakk Royce and partner Dayna Barnes, Ciera Cox and fiancé Austin Jatko, Ian Warr, and Claire Warr; her godchildren, Kevin Joyner and wife Theresa Joyner, and their children Ashley Brown and Heather Fairless, and Mary Outland, and children Heath Cofield, Josh Outland, and Jasmine Outland; her cousins, Elaine Jensen and Tony Bryant, as well as many other loved ones.

A celebration of life memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 15, 2023 at 2 p.m. at

Murfreesboro Baptist Church with the Rev. Dr. Rick Bailey officiating.  There will be a reception immediately following in the church fellowship hall.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Nature Conservancy or Easter Seals/Port Health.

Garrett-Sykes Memorial Chapel in Murfreesboro, is handling the arrangements for the Royce family and online condolences can be directed to the family by visiting