Mary Jane Ferdinand Royer, RN, 73, devoted wife, mother and grandmother, passed away Thursday, February 21, 2019 in Southlake, TX.
Jane was born in Hazleton, PA on December 8, 1945. She graduated from Freeland High School in Pennsylvania in 1963. Jane attended University of Pennsylvania’s School of Nursing where she was awarded her RN in 1966.
Following graduation, she worked as a nurse in the University of Pennsylvania Hospital’s emergency department. There, Jane met her future husband of 50 years, Thomas C. Royer, MD of Bellefonte, PA. The couple first lived in Danville, PA while Thomas completed his surgical residency at the Geisinger Medical Center. Following residency, the couple relocated to Beaufort, SC where Thomas served as a Lieutenant Commander and surgeon at the Naval Hospital Beaufort. Upon the completion of his military service, Jane and Thomas returned to Danville, PA where they lived for 21 years and raised their four children.
Jane was an active member of the Danville community, serving in a variety of professional and volunteer roles. She and Thomas were instrumental in the founding of the Danville Ronald McDonald House, the first in the nationwide network of temporary patient family housing to be built in a rural community, serving on its board of directors. Jane was a member of the Children’s Miracle Network Telethon Committee and served on the board for the school at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church where she was also a devoted parishioner. Jane and Thomas helped organize a free medical clinic for the area’s migrant farm workers and volunteered regularly at Camp Victory, a special summer camp for children with various medical diagnoses, in Millville, PA. She loved music, singing soprano as a member of the Danville Community Singers and served as a Brownie troop leader.
Jane was a loving and giving mother and together with Thomas made education a priority in their children’s lives. Together they would faithfully attend all of their kids’ various school activities, sporting events and musical performances, where Jane was often seen documenting the action with her VHS camcorder. As her children grew, Jane returned to nursing, working for nearly a decade as nurse administrator of the Geisinger Care Center, a walk-in family medicine clinic in Danville. She later served in a similar role at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, MD.
Jane and Thomas settled in Southlake, TX from Bloomfield Hills, MI in 1999. Jane was considered by many to be a gourmet cook, preparing elaborate meals for family and friends at countless holiday gatherings and parties which she loved hosting in her home. The only thing she enjoyed more than cooking was spoiling her eleven grandchildren who lovingly referred to her as Nana.
Jane was preceded in death by her parents, Carmen and Rita Nowak Ferdinand of Freeland, PA and her eldest daughter, Gwyneth Royer, DO, whom Jane and Thomas adopted from Seoul Korea in 1972. She is survived by Thomas, Southlake, TX as well as her three children; Christian Royer, MD (Melanie) of Frisco, TX, Heather Benham (Philip) of North Richland Hills, TX, and Brent Royer (Dara) of Cazenovia NY and her brother, Cameron Ferdinand (Norma) of Lancaster, PA as well as her grandchildren; Brianna Royer, Paige Royer, Nina Royer, Benjamin Cocco, Logan Royer, Bella Cocco, Abigail Benham, Nicholas Cocco, Marley Royer, Eli Royer and Philip Benham, IV.
A memorial mass will be held at 11:00 am on Tuesday, February 26 at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 8000 El Dorado Parkway, Frisco, TX. A burial service and ceremony of interment will take place beginning at 11:00 am on Saturday, March 2 at Calvary Cemetery Chapel, 49 S. Hunter Highway, Drums, PA.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial gift can be made in Jane’s name to Camp Victory, a special camp for kids, 58 Camp Victory Road, Millville, PA 17846 or online at campvictory.org. The family will be establishing a memorial scholarship in Jane’s name for nursing students at University of Pennsylvania.