Thursday, September 3, 2009



by Trish Hightower
GLAD Immediate Past Chairman
August 18, 2009

Royal Gober was a Godly man of many talents. He was a leader, a people person, an organizer, a teacher, a visionary. He was a man of purpose, authority, and determination. He was a man who set high expectations and convinced others they could meet these expectations, and they did…to their own amazement! He was a man of sympathy, patience and understanding whose ability to relate to the downtrodden helped the discouraged and lifted their spirits and their achievements beyond their wildest dreams. He set worthy goals, wanting to make things better than they were before his arrival. And he put forth the effort to achieve whatever it was that could be improved. He was a gardener who shared the bounty of his crop with neighbors and friends. He enjoyed woodworking, making useful and attractive gifts for friends.
He was a Christian who saw the good in others and brought out the best in people. He was a churchman who could be counted on; a praying man, faithful to his Lord and involved in church activities. He loved his parents and siblings and enjoyed and appreciated the family he grew up with. He was a loving husband to his beautiful wife, Judy, and devoted to his children and grandchildren.
The Lord guided Royal's life to significant opportunities of service. His position as head of the Mississippi Employment Security Commission allowed him to have a broad, effective, and positive reach throughout the state. His array of skills were put to use in his position and involved a wide variety of tasks. The Commission had benefited greatly from his leadership when he retired.
Royal believed in community service and organized the Exchange Club of Grenada in order to have a means for friends and neighbors to band together to improve life for others through that club's mission. Royal was the Charter President and held numerous positions of leadership with Exchange on the local and district level. Grenada's Exchange Club has used his standard of leadership to maintain a nationally recognized reputation for excellence over many years.
Looking for community service opportunities in retirement, he was contacted about the effort to organize a literacy council. Royal believed in education and heretofore organized adult literacy training had not been available in Grenada. He agreed to become involved, and once again his talents and skills were used to the fullest. He became the primary factor in the organization of GLAD, the Grenada League for Adult Development.
As the Literacy Director for GLAD, he retired from the impressive office he had occupied as head of MESC in Jackson to literally work in a closet at the Vocational School in Grenada. From that tiny area, he developed by-laws, obtained non-profit status for the organization and began recruiting volunteers. From his example, the GLAD Board of Directors learned how to lead people, honor achievement and set realistic expectations. And Royal learned some lessons, too. He discovered that managing employees and managing volunteers required entirely different approaches. He quickly adjusted to working with volunteers and set an example that has served well those who followed him when he retired from GLAD.
Over the years that he served GLAD, he managed government financial grants that helped fund GLAD's activities and flawlessly provided the reporting and accounting that allowed continued funding. He trained more than 500 tutors matching them with students, overseeing their activities and their reporting. He saw to it that tutors and students were honored for their achievements. As a result, a multitude of people who wanted to learn to read, had the opportunity, achieved goals and received recognition for their efforts.
Royal had many other interests and accomplishments. And if Royal was in charge of anything, everyone knew whatever was planned would run well…whether it was a state agency, a civic service club, a volunteer organization or a Sunday School party! In addition, all involved would know his humor, quick smile, friendliness, welcoming spirit, and joy of life. He was truly "A Man For All Seasons" and everyone would agree that you were exceedingly blessed if you knew him and called him your friend.

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