Royce Andes, 70, of Biggs, California, passed away May 5, 2018, at Enloe Hospital in Chico, California. Royce was born October 10, 1947, to Carrol and Jacquie Andes. He graduated from Biggs High School in 1965, and was a life-long resident of Biggs.
Royce served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War in Intelligence. In 1976, Royce married Mary Wangberg of Richvale. They had 2 children, Neil and Leia. In 1978, he received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Physical Education from California State University in Chico. In 1982, Royce was injured in a barefoot waterskiing accident leaving him a quadriplegic. For the last 35 years, Royce was unwavering in his goal to help other disabled individuals. His love for water skiing led him to develop a modified waterski for paraplegics. Through his relentless efforts he patented the “Kan Ski” and over the years taught numerous disabled individuals to waterski. Among those he mentored, several went on to become world-class water skiers and gold medalists at the World Disabled Olympics. Royce was also instrumental in organizing a “Kids Camp” through Ability First Sports. This organization offered a week-long summer camp for children with disabilities, giving these kids the opportunity to experience water skiing.
Royce wanted to further his college education, so he once again enrolled at California State University in Chico and in 1998 received his Master of Arts Degree in Physical Education. He was an inspirational speaker for numerous classes over the years.
Royce was preceded in death by his parents, Carrol & Jacquie Andes and his youngest brother, Kevin. He is survived by his son, Neil (wife Kim), granddaughter, Rilynn and grandson, Lincoln; his daughter, Leia (husband Walter), grandson, Dylan; his brother, Gary (wife Marna); and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Royce is also survived by his numerous friends, who were such a vital part of his life. He loved and appreciated each and every one of you. You were his driving force. Royce was an inspiration to everyone that met him. He never lost his sense of humor and wit and will be forever missed.
Funeral services will be conducted at the Gridley-Biggs Cemetery on Monday, May 14, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. A celebration of Royce’s life will be held immediately following the service at the Gridley Moose Lodge. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Ability First Sports in Royce Andes name.