Lynchburg, VA - A man considered royalty to Lynchburg's fire department was laid to rest Tuesday. Captain Royall Williams was known as the oldest retired Lynchburg Fire Captain. He passed away on Thursday at the age of 97.
His friends and family sent Royall home in a big way. They started at his home church, then drove past a couple of fire stations, before giving him one final salute at Fort Hill Memorial Park.
"We thank your for his life. We thank you for the influence that he had," said Rev. Andrew Grose.
They say men do not come any finer than Captain Royall Williams. A true example of a compassionate spirit, one who loved God. About 200 people came out to see him one last time at College Hill Baptist Church. Friends told stories of the real Royall Williams; a man who was funny, patient, and could always light up a room.
"Royall loved adventure. He loved animals and pretty girls and I'm not sure it was quite that order," laughed Grose.
Royall retired in 1975 at the age of 59, after serving as Captain for the Lynchburg Fire Department for 40 years. Following the service, the procession went to a few local fire stations where members paid their respects.
Royall's celebration ended inside the gates of Fort Hill Memorial Park where former colleagues, friends, and family said goodbye to a true southern gentleman.
"He was an inspiration to me for his being able to fulfill my mission in the fire service," said Chaplain Les Davidson.
"There is a time. for everything, a season, etc. and I think it just was that," said Grandson, Eddie Williams.
Friends call Royall a civil servant who loved watching Hillcats Baseball. His family says his health was nothing short of stellar for someone 97-years-old, it was just his time.