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Obituaries

John J. Royo Jr, retired spacecraft designer

John J. Royo Jr., a retired spacecraft design engineer who worked on the Apollo space program and the Hubble Space Telescope, died Monday of multiple myeloma at his Columbia home. He was 82.

The son of John J. Royo Sr., a Spanish immigrant who worked at Allied Chemical Co., and Mary Wagowich Royo, a Western Electric Corp. Point Breeze worker, John Juando Royo Jr. was born in Baltimore and raised in Highlandtown.

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When he was a junior at Patterson Park High School, from which he graduated in 1954, Mr. Royo enlisted in the Maryland National Guard. He was discharged with the rank of sergeant in 1961.

An avid dancer, Mr. Royo won a Baltimore jitterbug contest with his girlfriend, Marjorie "Margie" Westerman, whom he married in 1956.

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While working as a draftsman at the old Glenn L. Martin Co. in Middle River, he attended the Johns Hopkins University's McCoy College.

"He never completed college because he had a second child on the way, and my mother said there was no way to keep on paying for it," said a daughter, Dawne Royo of Columbia.

After being laid off from the Martin Co., he went to work in the early 1960s as a design engineer for Fairchild Hiller Industries, first in Bladensburg and later at the company's Germantown facility.

Mr. Royo was was part of the design team that worked on the Apollo space program, including the LEM, or lunar excursion module, which transported two crewmen from the lunar orbiter to the moon's surface and back. He also worked on the Hubble Space Telescope, which was launched in 1990.

His signature and those of other members of the design team were included on the dashboard of the LEM, his daughter said.

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Mr. Royo later studied computer-aided design at Howard Community College.

He worked as a design engineer on "weapons of mass destruction," his daughter said, for Swales Aerospace Inc. in Beltsville from 1991 until 2000, when he retired.

A resident of Columbia since 1964, Mr. Royo enjoyed traveling. One of his favorite destinations was Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., which he visited 40 times, family members said. He also liked to paint landscapes and still-lifes in oils.

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Funeral services for Mr. Royo will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at the Harry H. Witzke Funeral Home, 4112 Old Columbia Pike, Ellicott City.

In addition to his wife of 61 years and daughter, Mr. Royo is survived by another daughter, Tammy Royo Sczepanski of Columbia.

"He is also survived by his son, John Juando Royo III, who has been missing for 17 years, and for whom he grieved until the day he died," Ms. Royo said. "He was last living in Elkridge."

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com


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