Roy Pierce Jr., 83, formerly of Bayard and Mitchell, Nebraska, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, November 22, 2023, at the Isle of Cedar Ridge in Cedar Park, Texas. The funeral service will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, December 9, 2023, at Reverence Funeral Parlor in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. Burial will follow at the Bayard Cemetery. The United States Navy will provide military honors. Visitation will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, December 8, 2023, at Reverence Funeral Parlor. Memorials may be made to the Gary Sinise Foundation Snowball Express, which serves the surviving spouse and children of fallen heroes. Online condolences may be expressed by visiting Roy’s complete obituary page viewable at www.reverencefuneralparlor.com.
Roy was born November 26, 1939, in a modest sod house outside Bayard, Nebraska to Roy George Pierce Sr. and Susan Rebecca (Layne) Pierce. As the second youngest of twelve children on the farm, Roy’s early years involved both the freedom of outdoor adventure and the hard, honest work that goes along with rural life. The highlight, of course, was the occasion to go to town and stop at the “dime” store, movie theater, and Sophie’s drive-in.
Roy attended primary education in Bayard and skipped the eighth grade. After his sophomore year, and the unexpected loss of his parents, he moved to Riverside, California to live with his older brother, George. There he attended Riverside Polytechnic High School to earn a GED as he was anxious to join the Navy and see the world! He took several courses in electronics and tool/die design after his service.
Roy joined the United States Navy in November of 1956 and proudly served through November of 1960 aboard the USS Belle Grove. He was called back to service in July 1963 aboard the USS Casa Grande through July 1965, where he obtained the rank of Machinist Mate First Class Petty Officer. His service to our country involved several conflicts from the Formosa Crisis (Taiwan) to the Vietnam War. Along the way, he enjoyed his adventures in Hawaii, the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. His Navy decorations included the National Defense Service Medal and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal. Though Roy’s distinct military legacy is that of an Atomic Veteran during operations on the Bikini and Enewetok Atolls in the Marshall Islands. He was honored to name one operation, “Magnolia” which occurred on May 27, 1958. During one test, Roy sustained lifelong radiation burns which he would endure for the rest of his life. His personal sacrifice during the Cold War supports our American freedoms we still enjoy.
Roy was married to Janeen (Faulkner) Pierce on November 6, 1966 and two this union two children were born, Robin and Steve.
His employment history included working as a machinist for Lockwood Corporation, manufacturing capacitors for Midwec, and employment as a Tool and Die Maker for George Risk Industries. He was also security for the Western Sugar Factory for a period of time.
He will be long remembered for his politeness and kindness of which he treated everyone. He was quite sociable, though would not participate in spiteful conversation or rumors. His heart was always concerned about any child affected by unfortunate circumstances from that of poverty, family crisis or military impact. His selfless giving for decades undoubtedly improved the lives of countless families. Only God knows how far and wide.
He enjoyed fishing, bingo, attending auctions, watching the Oregon Trail Races, and watching the planes land and take off at the airport. His mechanical background never retired as he filled many of his days tinkering, fixing, and improving things. Roy was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Survivors include his brother, Lloyd Pierce; daughter, Robin (Trevor) Klepper; son, Steven (Paula) Pierce; grandchildren, Ryanne (Derek) Heintz, Brittany Klepper, Katelin Klepper, Trent Klepper, Noah Pierce, and Gage Pierce; great-grandchildren, Cayleb Heintz and Graysen Heintz; along with numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Roy Pierce Sr. and Susan Pierce; siblings, George Pierce, Robert Pierce, Noland Pierce, Manley Pierce, Andy Pierce, Earl Pierce, Marvin Pierce, Billy Pierce, Jimmy Pierce, and Freida (Pierce) Kilwein.