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Roy Alan Gunn

December 29, 1936 January 1, 2021
Roy Alan Gunn
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Obituary for Roy Alan Gunn

Roy Alan Gunn was born December 29, 1936, in Ilford, Essex County, United Kingdom. He and his sister grew up in England, the only children born to Albert Matthew Alan and Violet May (Hasted) Gunn.
While riding the city bus one day as a teen, Roy locked eyes with a pretty girl but the two did not speak. The next day, he attended his sister’s dance performance and the girl from the bus, Beryl Nichols, was also dancing that day. Beryl made a comment to him that day and then turned up at one of his usual hangouts the day after. Soon Roy and Beryl were inseparable, and the rest is history. After graduating high school, Roy served his required two years with the Royal Air Force before attending technical college. Four years after they met, Roy and Beryl were married at St. Mary’s Parish Church in Hawkwell, Essex, England, on April 27, 1957.

They both worked hard and by March 1960 they had saved enough to buy their first home. By the end of the year, the couple welcomed a baby girl, Debbie. In October of 1963, Roy emigrated with his wife and daughter to the United States where their son Adam was born. Roy worked on hydraulics and pneumatics in the aviation industry while they lived in England and continued in the industry after moving to the States. While living in California, Roy was offered a position with Walt Disney Enterprises and he jumped at the opportunity. Roy worked on the hydraulics and sheet metal engineering for rides like “It’s a Small World” and the monorail at Disneyland in California. They even sent him to Florida for a while to work on the building of Disney World. Working for the Disney Corporation meant free passes for the family to the parks and rides, which the kids thoroughly enjoyed growing up. After ten years working for Disney, Roy took a job with Dunlop Aviation in quality control and travelled the world inspecting aviation equipment.

As a family, they always owned some type of recreational vehicle, and camping and the outdoors were a huge part of their lives. When the kids were young, they had a truck and camper, and as they got older, they upgraded to a travel trailer. Many weekends were spent camping up and down the West Coast along the ocean and they took longer trips when they could to places like the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and Yosemite. When Roy and Beryl moved to Oregon to retire, they purchased a larger motor home that they took on many trips. One of their favorite spots was an RV park near Sunriver and LaPine, where they enjoyed owner status.

Roy was a talented and intelligent man who excelled at so many things outside of his career. He had quite a mind for mechanics and knew all the ins and outs of just about every kind of vehicle. Roy was always tinkering with cars and the like, fixing them up and re-selling them. He used his skills working with sheet metal to design and build gas tanks for RVs during the fuel crisis. When he was in a creative mode, he would use his knowledge of metal to design and create beautiful silver and turquoise custom jewelry.

One of Roy’s greatest talents was photography, and he had an incredible eye for composition. During their many camping trips he would photograph wildlife and natural scenery, and he compiled quite a portfolio of incredibly beautiful photographs. At home, he always had the big lens for his camera out on the table, so that he could photograph the many hummingbirds that visited their home, capturing stunning photos of them mid-flight.

When he became ill with cancer in 2004, Roy visited the Mt. Angel Abbey and sat with a priest, finding solace in the men of faith there and the serenity of the surroundings. He was fascinated by the stories of monks who came from all over the world to dedicate their lives to the calling, and he found comfort in their prayers. During his visits, Roy captured some incredible shots of the monastery - one particularly haunting shot, titled “Heaven’s Gate,” was published in a national photo competition by Smithsonian Magazine. He also volunteered his photography skills to the Sublimity Fire Department.

Roy received excellent care from his cancer doctor and was able to enjoy sixteen years with his family after diagnosis, monitoring his health vigilantly over the years. When he became ill again, he fought valiantly and soldiered on as long as he possibly could. Nearing the end, he was able to hold on for one more Christmas, one more birthday, and for both of his children to be by his side before he said his goodbye to this world. On the first day of the new year, January 1, 2021, surrounded by his loving family. Roy passed away peacefully in Albany, Oregon, at the age of 84.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 63 years, Beryl; his children, Deborah and Adam; grandchildren Brynn, Max, and Ian; and three great-grandchildren and another on the way.

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