Remembering Galen C. Royer Sr.

A local pastor recalls Pottstown community pillar Galen C. Royer Sr. The former optometrist and proprietor of Ben's Music died at age 85 on Wednesday.


An acoustic guitar is valued for its warmth and understated timbre; it possesses an instrumental yet unassuming sound, full of life but never overpowering.

In a June, 2011 interview for a  on Pottstown Patch, Galen C. Royer Sr. was very much like an acoustic guitar. Soft-spoken yet enthusiastic, his eyes sparkled when he recalled leaving his optometry business to open  on Charlotte Street in 1986.

"I started really before I retired from that business," he said on that hot summer day. "I knew I'd get too old someday for the optical business and I did get too old. But the guitar world is a fun place."

Royer joined his son Galen Royer Jr., the proprietor of , to merge their two stores in 2007. There, father and son sold music and the means to make it, carving a niche with a focus on customer service that included special ordering CDs and Royer Sr.'s promise to back his guitar repairs "100 percent."

Royer Sr. died on Wednesday. He was 85 years old. 

According to an obituary, Royer Sr. was widower of Dorothy M. (Bartchak) Royer, his wife of 62 years. A 1944 graduate of Pottstown High School, he was also a U. S. Army veteran.

He is survived by his sons Royer Jr. of Pottstown and David Royer of Manheim.

Royer Sr. was a longtime member of the , which he helped run as harmoniously as the six strings in his shop.

"Galen was an indispensable member of the congregation," said First United Methodist Pastor Will Humes. Humes on Saturday spoke warmly of Royer Sr. and painted an image of a man who was integral to church life. "He served on the church council for many years. He served on the Board of Trustees for 41 years and was president of the board for 40 (years)."

Royer Sr. meant more to First United Methodist than just administrative leadership.

"He was one of the kindest, most genuine people I have ever known," Humes said. "He was irreplaceable. He meant the world to a lot of members and he meant the world to me."

Funeral services will be held at on March 13. The family will receive friends from noon to 1 p.m. before a private burial. Donations in Galen C. Royer Sr.'s name may be made to .

John March 12, 2012 at 06:17 PM
I felt the guitar analogy was perfect. I only had the opportunity to meet Mr. Royer Sr. a few times but with out a doubt Pottstown has suffered a tragic loss in his passing. His family will be in our prayers.
janet austin March 12, 2012 at 11:49 PM
Mr. Royer was a kind man who devoted himself to his church ,to his wife, and to his family. He loved music, like the keyboards, and guitars. He told many stories how he played the keyboards and the guitar. It helped me to encourage my own son to embra
janet austin March 12, 2012 at 11:51 PM
embrace music!
fritz vilson March 16, 2012 at 04:30 PM
My name is Fritz and for the short time that i knew mr Ben i became his buddy he was always kind and honest he helped me to buy good and affordable instruments for our Haitian churches and musicians, I amm missing him every day so are the churches in Haiti and here in the usa i am sure he is in peace mr. Ben was a great human being he left a legacy of goodness to this world.
Teresa McMinn March 16, 2012 at 05:37 PM
These are wonderful memories. Thank you for sharing them with us! T.


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