- 98 years old
- Date of birth: Feb 4, 1917
- Place of birth:
Nutley, New Jersey, United States
- Date of passing: Sep 12, 2015
- Place of passing:
Punta Gorda, Florida, United States
|Let the memory of Roylance be with us forever|
Roylance Hall Sharp, 98, passed away peacefully on September 12, 2015 in Punta Gorda, Florida.
He was born in Nutley, New Jersey, the son of Archibald and Bessie (nee Crane) Sharp. He graduated from Nutley High School in 1935.
He was pre-deceased by his wife of 68 years, Mary (nee Parsons) Sharp, the love of his life. He is survived by his loving daughter Carolyn Sharp Hamilton, and son-in-law Thomas Rayford Hamilton, of Punta Gorda, Florida, as well as a niece and nephews in Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
Roylance was a former member of the U.S. Army and served in the Occupation Forces in Japan during the aftermath of World War II.
He was a “Television Pioneer” beginning his career as a page at NBC in New York City in 1944. He worked behind the scenes in network operations and eventually moved to Dumont Television Network where he honed his expertise in station relations and managing National networks. He was invited to join a new network, Sports Network Incorporated, and was hired as its Executive Vice President. Their first big break came in 1954, when ABC dropped Pebble Beach golf. Sports Network took over the broadcast rights and Roy put together a National network for the tournament. The company grew and grew, adding a variety of sporting events to their portfolio including golf, basketball, baseball and other events like the LOVE network for the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Fundraiser which evolved into the annual telethon in 1968. After Howard Hughes bought Sports Network Incorporated, forming Hughes Sports Network, Roylance continued to use his management and programming skills directly for MDA. He managed the network and station relations for the LOVE network for 30 years until his “retirement” to Sun City, Fla. in 1999
Roylance was an accomplished pianist and theatre organ enthusiast. In his final years he took great pleasure in playing informally for his fellow residents at Brookdale PGI Assisted Living in Punta Gorda.
He was a class act and inspiring leader with a delightful sense of humor.
A private burial at sea will be held for family at a later date. In memory of Roylance, donations may be made to the Roylance and Mary Sharp Memorial Fund of the Endowment Trust of the Visual Arts Center, 210 Maud St. Punta Gorda, FL 33950.
Roylance may be kindly remembered at icscremationandfunerals.org and on Facebook at facebook.com/icscremationandfunerals
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