Born in Detroit, Roy D. Puckett was the son of mechanical engineer Roy Dee Puckett, Sr. and Lila Park Boone (a descendant of Squire, Daniel's brother). Older brother Robert was there and waiting for a younger brother. His parents had met while his father was attending the University of Kentucky. Roy's Uncle Showdy, after graduating from the same school, moved to Detroit and urged his brother to join him. He did and worked for one of the early auto companies and Nizer Laboratories, where he was chief engineer. Unfortunately, Roy Dee died at home of double pneumonia. Then came the Great Depression and all was lost. His mother, with...
Born in Detroit, Roy D. Puckett was the son of mechanical engineer Roy Dee Puckett, Sr. and Lila Park Boone (a descendant of Squire, Daniel's brother). Older brother Robert was there and waiting for a younger brother. His parents had met while his father was attending the University of Kentucky. Roy's Uncle Showdy, after graduating from the same school, moved to Detroit and urged his brother to join him. He did and worked for one of the early auto companies and Nizer Laboratories, where he was chief engineer. Unfortunately, Roy Dee died at home of double pneumonia. Then came the Great Depression and all was lost. His mother, with her sons, moved back to Lexington, burying her husband in Lexington Cemetery, and living with her twin sister, Edyth, for a year. Returning to Detroit, she met John Stevens, married, had a son James (Bill) and settled into the Old Neighborhood, not far from Twelfth St., on the city's west side. A proud graduate of Central High School (Sonny Eliot was ahead of him), he was drafted upon graduation and went on active duty as a ski trooper with the 10th Mountain Division (Co. G, 87th). He joined the Kiska invasion and became a company runner and regimental company clerk. Touring northern Italy in the North Apennines and Po Valley and the Aleutian Islands campaigns, he earned the Bronze Star with clusters. With the war over, he came back home (his brothers claim Roy, after getting off the train at Michigan Central, ate four hot dogs). He received his bachelor's degree from the Detroit Institute of Technology and worked at Ford Motor Company in fleet sales.
One summer, when there was no snow upon which to ski, he went golfing at the Redford Golf Course in Old Redford. After finishing up, a girls foursome happened by and he introduced himself. Though they had just met, England-born Norma Stanford's family and Roy's lived just one street apart (both had attended the same high school as well). Married on D-Day in 1953, the wedding was memorable as the Redford Ave. Presbyterian Church sanctuary had burned down and a new one was not yet completed, so the wedding was held on the decorated ground floor.
After a honeymoon in the wilds of Traverse City, Michigan, the couple settled outside the city in a newly-built Redford Township home (after his suggestion that they now needed only one car, his bride replied, "Well, how will you get to work?).
Trips to New Orleans, Kentucky and California, visits from English relations, along with dining and movies during the week followed. As the decade drew to a close, their dream was realized-- owning an acre of property with a custom-built home. After the move to Livonia, the first of two sons, Barry, was born, followed by Brian almost two years later. Living on the edge of a wooded meadow, pheasants, deer and other wildlife abounded, but there were few people (especially ones with children). That problem was solved when the Rice family from Detroit moved next door with seven children.
Active in neighborhood associations and the local civic scene, Roy served in the Civil Service and Norma found herself as the only full-time employee of the Livonia Zoning Board of Appeals. Lively discussion on city issues followed.
Leaving FoMoCo after 15 years, he went on to become a business (and typing) teacher, obtaining a master's degree in education administration from Eastern Michigan University. He taught at Bishop Borgess High School for 15 years and Henry Ford Community College for 18 years. During the summer, teaching driver's education kept the days interesting.
After Roy and Norma retired, a pleasant (and warm) time was spent outside of Tampa, Florida, in Palm Harbor for three months during Michigan's sometimes tepid winters. Summering back in the state meant annual trips to the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island with family, friends and 10th Mountain veterans.
Youngest son Brian was married at Redford Church in 1996 to University of Michigan--Ann Arbor nurse Sandra Barbish. Settling in Livonia, two much-anticipated grandchildren were born-- Sarah and Jeremy. Very much enjoying their roles as grandparents, many happy hours were spent with them.
After Norma passed away in 2007, Roy took stock of his health and began visiting UM hospital regularly. He wanted to stay mobile so he could continue his involvement with the Nardineers senior group and travels Up North, Down South and everywhere in between, including a Canadian road trip to Ft. Drum in upstate New York, home to the 10th Mountain Division (Light). He was also the unofficial travel agent for many people who visited the Grand Hotel with him, an interest that has continued in his two grandchildren. Lately he had begun investigating his family tree, both on the Puckett and the Boone side. He was very pleased in 2012 when he and his sons were able to join the Sons of the American Revolution (Huron Valley chapter) through his great-grandmother's great-grandfather, Nathaniel Gardner (1739-1832).
Roy was very involved when Redford Ave. Presbyterian and Southfield Presbyterian churches came together to form one congregation, serving on Session under Dr. Quincy Cooper and also on the Pastoral Nominating Committee, which brought Rev. Dr. Thomas James to Covenant Presbyterian Church.
Roy was cautious in his optimism of the Detroit Tigers "going all the way" to the World Series, and did not hesitate to beat manager Jim Leyland on calls or offer frank advice, a trait son Brian has inherited.
Roy D. Puckett has meant so much to so many. In short:
"The measure of a man is the friends he leaves behind."
In lieu of flowers, memorial tribute suggested to Covenant Presbyterian Church or Michigan's Own Military and Space Museum, Frankenmuth, Mich.