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1949 Clifton 2023

Clifton Wayne Royal

July 13, 1949 — April 22, 2023



Coats, NC; Clifton Wayne Royal, 73, of Coats, NC met his Savior face to face on April 22, 2023 surrounded by his family  Wayne was born July 13, 1949, to Clifton Royal and Peggy Sewell Royal in Erwin.  Both of his parents and his brother, David Royal predeceased him.

Wayne, also known as “Big” and “Uncle Wayne” is survived by his wife of 48 years, Sherry Byrd Royal; his daughters Elizabeth Hodge and husband Darrell, of Dunn; Ashley Tart and husband Donnie, of Coats; and Megan Frank and husband Greg, of Coats.  He is also survived by one grandson, Laxton Hodge, and his five granddaughters Camden Tart, Ella Hodge, Rylee Tart, Charley Frank, and Naomi Frank, all of whom brought pure joy to Big’s life.  Several in-laws who became real family, extended family, as well as a host of nieces and nephews also survive him.

A man of faith, Wayne was an active member of Coats Baptist, the Joe Lee Sunday School Class, the Coats Lion’s Club, and the Erwin High School Goodfellas as long as his health allowed.  Wayne was a retired educator with Harnett County Schools in which he taught and coached at Harnett Youth Center, Buies Creek Elementary, Harnett Central Middle, Coats Elementary, and Coats-Erwin Middle Schools.  He coached basketball, soccer, and golf– loving every minute of transferring his passion for sports into the lives of young people.  He was most proud of each one’s accomplishments–and he did stay in contact with those former students. 

Wayne loved life and lived BIG.  His love of beach music, Duke, all sports, especially golf, was the highlight of most conversations.  He had many tales of playing junior college sports, of being a charter member of the Coats IGA softball team which had previously played for Currin and Dorman, and of hitting the first homerun at the then new Coats Park.  His greatest love was reminiscing those glory days of retelling and adding to those stories with any audience.

Wayne was also a lover of family and food.  He loved a packed house with lots of laughter and good food.  Big/Uncle Wayne was known for his cooking, his entertainment skills, and his unique nickname for each child. A loving husband and father, granddad, teacher, coach, and friend, Wayne Royal will be remembered and cherished for his genuine love of people and his devotion to those he loved.  He leaves behind so many cherished memories. 

The Royal family expresses appreciation for every kind word, gesture, posting, visit, and act of Christian love and friendship.  They also wish to express their heart-felt gratitude to Tina McDowell, Delois Williams (Lil’ Boys,) and Jasmine Kee for their excellent care and attention to Wayne.  Thank you to everyone who assisted Wayne in so many ways as he met continued health challenges.  He made many friends along the way.

The family will receive visitors at 1462 Crawford Road, Coats.  The Celebration of Life will be Wednesday, April 26, 11:00, at Coats Baptist Church.  In lieu of flowers, please consider making a contribution to your favorite charity or organization.


Arrangements by Rose and Graham Funeral Home in Coats, NC.

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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