Pastor E. Harold Roy passed away on February 23, 2022, from grief and complications of COVID at the age of 97. A memorial service for Pastor Roy and his wife Retha will be held Sunday, March 13, 2022, 3:00 p.m. at Stoess’ Funeral Home, 6534 W. Hwy 22, Crestwood, Kentucky. Visitation will be prior to the service from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m.
E. Harold Roy was born December 17, 1924, to Leslie C. and Olza Gosser Roy of Russell County, Kentucky. He had an older brother, James E. (Billy); younger sister, Enola; and younger half-sister, Veldean.
Harold spent his formative years in the Casey County area surrounded by his parents, grandparents, lots of aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. Growing up during the depression was a challenge for most, but Harold and his family handled it well. Their faith was strong, and their work ethic was great. Their farm was productive, and their gardens were plentiful. Harold helped wherever he was needed and was usually found tagging along with his older brother Billy.
Harold enlisted in the U.S. Navy during WWII serving on destroyer ships in both the Atlantic Ocean theater and then in the Pacific Ocean conflict. He was present during the capture of the German U-505 submarine (which is on display in Chicago at the Museum of Science and Industry). He was present for the signing of the Armistice with Japan in Tokyo Bay, Japan. Later in life he was to write a book about his Navy experiences, titled “Ships, Submarines and Kamikazes”. Having served in multiple campaigns during the war, he was awarded six battle stars, two Presidential citations, the Philippine Liberation medal, and Cross of Valor. In addition, he is the recipient of numerous (and I mean numerous) veteran organization awards, ribbons, and medals from several countries.
After fulfilling his time in the service, Harold returned home to Casey County. It was there that a sixteen-year-old young lady, walking down the road, caught his eye. That young lady was Retha.
Harold Roy and Retha Adkins were united in marriage on March 16, 1946. They set up housekeeping in Casey County, Kentucky, and settled into an intended life of farming. However, a year or so after the birth of their first son, Joel, they moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, to obtain more lucrative work. While living in Cincinnati, a friend invited them to attend some meetings, and from those meetings sprung new faith & beliefs. They soon became members of the Central Seventh-day Adventist church.
Harold felt impressed to enter God’s Ministry - so he and his little family packed up and moved to Collegedale, Tennessee, where he attended Southern Missionary College, completing his B.A. degree in Theology in three years instead of four. Their financial means were meager during those college years, but with love, faith, perseverance, and help from God, they made it through.
Before being ordained as a minister, Harold had the opportunity to teach in a one room church school in Defiance, Ohio. A few years after the arrival of their second son, Michael, Harold was called to pastor his first church in East Liverpool, Ohio and their life of ministry and raising two sons began.
The couple usually pastored two or three churches at a time, but through the years they still made time for Harold to continue his education, receiving his master’s at Spalding University, his PhD in Theology at Pacific Western University with additional studies at Andrews Theological Seminary.
Harold loved music and played the harmonica, guitar, mandolin, and banjo. He was a prolific author of books, booklets, and numerous magazine articles – and had a deep passion for genealogy.
Together, he and Retha served more than 35 years in ministry with the Seventh-day Adventist Church; including four years with Harold as a hospital chaplain. They pastored churches in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Alabama, and Kentucky. In addition, Pastor Roy was the Religious Liberty Consultant for five years for the Ohio Conference of SDA’s. In 1988 the couple retired to the Louisville area to be near family and dear friends; Harold writing more books, and doing research, and Retha bird watching and gardening. They were members of the Pewee Valley Seventh-day Adventist Church.
In addition to his parents, Pastor Roy was preceded in death by an infant son and his youngest son, Michael in 2014. His loving wife Retha preceded him in death by 20 days.
He is survived by his son, Joel, and his wife Sandy; daughter-in-law, Kim Roy; granddaughter Misha and her husband Toby Porter; grandson, Christopher Roy; great-granddaughter, Maiah Porter, and great-grandson, Garet Porter; great-granddaughter, Cambree Roy; and great-great grandson, Frederick (Freddy) James Anderson.
In lieu of flowers donations to the Alzheimer’s Association would be appreciated by the family.
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