November 2, 1936 - March 15, 2020 Rev. Philip D. Royal, 83, of Sedro-Woolley, WA, died with his loving family at his side Sunday, March 15, 2020. From the age of 19, he fought a long battle with Type 1 Diabetes which abused him physically but he faced his challenges with both his faith in God and the love of the people in his life. Philip was born November 2, 1936 to Howard B. & Lena M. (Cravens) Royal at the old Memorial Hospital in Sedro-Woolley, WA, and was of Irish and Scottish descent. Early childhood with his sister Gail was spent in Birdsview, WA and Arcata, CA, as well as Olympia during his father's logging career. After Phil and Gail's mother died in an automobile accident when they were young, the family adopted sisters Beverly and Karen into their lives. Phil graduated from Concrete High School with the class of 1955. Phil started his early working life with some commercial fishing and cold-storage alongside his father Howard and best friend Don Coulter, who later married his sister Bev and they remained life-long friends. After fishing he did some logging, (which Howard had taught him). During his marriage to Claire (the mother of his three children), the diabetes saw him move from blue collar to white collar work. He loved raising pigeons for 4-H Club in Olympia during that time. Phil also enjoyed hunting and fishing for as long as he was able. By the early 1970s, Philip was back in Skagit County following his accepting Christ as his Lord & Savior and ministry work would become his passion. In 1982, the blindness caused by his Diabetes did not stop his commitment to the work he loved in ministry, especially with children where he created the moniker in the Upper Skagit Valley as 'Frontier Phil,' "leading with song, tall tales, frontier yarns and devotions." He helped create in the Pacific Northwest a Christian Boy Scouts called 'Royal Rangers' and was a past member of Skagit Valley Genealogical Society. He was also a Savage & Boyd descendant of the 'Pioneer Family of the Year' in 2012 as voted by the Skagit County Pioneer Association Though his many trials in his personal life and the physical abuse of his diabetes could have kept a lesser man down, his faith in his God was always strong and a source of inspiration to the people he ministered to. After his wife's passing, his final ministry was singing to the workers and his fellow residents at Life Care Center. He was preceded in death by his beloved father, mother, wife Donna, sister Gail (Robert) Nelson and daughter Dianna (Royal) Miskimens plus his brother-in-law and best friend in life and ministry, Don Coulter. Those who survive and miss him include: son, Dan (Maureen) Royal, Mount Vernon; daughter Bonnie (Mike) Lowe, Stanwood; sister Beverly Coulter, Burlington; Karen Heiser, Portland, OR; brother Timothy (Anne) Royal and sister Robin (Garry) Mickelson and their mother Jackie Royal; son-in-law Dean Miskimens, step-son Derek Downing, Bellingham; step-son, Steven Dunn, Seattle. His grandchildren include Steven (Reasa) Woody, David (Linda) Royal, Jon (Katelyn) Royal, Maleena Marshall; blended grandchildren include: Adam, Drew, Christopher, Bobby and Melissa. Many great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. The Royal family would like to thank, 'Life Care Center of Skagit Valley,' especially those who worked with Phil there: Julie, Doris, Moe and Aida among the countless others there the last five years, whose work has always been appreciated. Donations in Philip's name can be made to American Diabetes Association or Skagit Valley Genealogical Society. His immediate family will lay his ashes at Hawthorne Lawn Cemetery in Mount Vernon, WA March 28th and a public 'Celebration of Life' will be published at a later date following the cessation of the Coronavirus disruption. Psalm 100:1-4 1 Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! 2 Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!
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