Galen E. Royalty, 97, Prince George's homebuilder

April 12, 2006

Galen E. Royalty, a retired Prince George's County homebuilder, died of renal failure April 4 at a Winchester, Va., assisted-living facility. He was 97.

Mr. Royalty, who was born in Terrill, Iowa, dropped out of school when he was 14. He became a migrant worker and jumped trains while traveling around the country looking for work.

In 1937, he went to Washington and began working for International Business Machines Corp. In 1943, he established G.E. Royalty Construction Co., which primarily designed and built homes in Prince George's County. He retired in 1986.

"He was a self-taught builder and an avid inventor," said a granddaughter, Wendy Royalty.

Mr. Royalty, who was a longtime Silver Spring resident, moved to the assisted-living facility last year.

He enjoyed writing poetry and self-published Chest Nuts, a collection of his work, family members said.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Royal Haven assisted-living facility in Winchester.

Also surviving are his wife of 67 years, the former Virginia Pugh; two sons, James E. Royalty of Ellicott City and John R. Royalty of Wheaton; four daughters, Georgia M. Royalty and Barbara L. Daniels, both of Ellicott City, Vivian Gelfeld of Bethesda and Deborah A. Royalty of Charles Town, W.Va.; 10 other grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.

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