Elizabeth Royer

April 1941
August 2023


Elizabeth (Betty) Ruth Royer, mother, grandmother, dancer, and sports fan, passed away on August 10th in Avondale AZ. She is survived by her two daughters, Cynthia Clark and Christine Clark, and her grandson Andrew Dotzler. While married to Edwin Clark, an Air Force noncom, Betty had the opportunity to live an international life, residing in both Spain and the Philippines. One of Betty’s most valued memories during her time in the P.I. was her volunteer work with Operation Babylift during the mass evacuation of Vietnam. She had the opportunity to care for children who were airlifted to adoptive families throughout the world. This experience would lead her to volunteer for the cuddling program in Arizona at the NICU department of her local hospital. She would sit in a rocker for hours holding and rocking premature babies when their parents could not be there, knowing how important human touch was for scared and stressed infants. One of Cynthia’s favorite memories with Betty was of Betty’s 60th birthday trip when she took her mother to Toronto. This occurred after Wayne Gretzky had become involved with the Phoenix Coyote hockey team. The trip happened to coincide with Canada’s ceremony for naming their Olympic hockey team and Gretzky was in town that same weekend, and as it turns out staying in the same hotel. As they sat in the lobby, Gretzky walked by and went to the hotel bar. Cynthia convinced Betty to go ask for an autograph (much to Cynthia’s chagrin, Betty had on her Coyotes hockey jersey in Toronto). She was turned away by one of the hotel employees and came back crestfallen, but unwilling to leave as long as she could see Gretzky. After about 10 minutes, Gretzky was done at the bar and was heading out. But as he did so he made his way towards Betty and Cynthia. He stopped in front of Betty and said “Anyone who would wear that jersey in this town deserves an autograph”, and he proceeded to take out his own Sharpie and sign her jersey. Betty could barely speak but was able to get out “I have a 10-pack”! She cherished that memory always. Other cherished memories include a road trip spent exploring the wonders of Oregon, and many summers spent in Santa Fe exploring the plaza, drinking margaritas on the room patio at the El Rey, and attending the opera. Christine had a different connection with Betty, baking. Her fondest memories were of her and Betty baking various desserts when she was little. Christine’s love of baking developed from Betty teaching her and letting her help. Christine also cherished the visits she and Andrew had with Betty before they moved to Arizona. Most importantly, Betty was Christine’s best friend. She confided in her and Betty never judged her, even if it was something Betty didn’t agree with. Betty was dearly loved by all who knew her, and she will be greatly missed.

Friends & Family

Christine Clark, daughter; Cynthia Clark, daughter

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