Remembering our Publisher Emeritus (1943-2022)
When I met Dick Royer in his office in December 1999, I entered the inner sanctum of someone who spent their life building something. Dick owned Chesapeake Bay Magazine since 1974 and along with photos of his wife, Betty, and daughter, Victoria, his walls were covered in photos of Bay destinations, prolific scenes of regional landscapes, various boats of the Chesapeake, and many awards that the magazine had won over the years. I would come to learn, over many years of weekly meetings in that office, that Dick was immensely proud of not only the photos on the walls, but the relationships that went along with them.
Dick originally bought the magazine from Richard and Dixie Goertemiller , who had launched it in 1971. He was a young advertising salesman at the Washington Star newspaper, and Dick smartly made the move, lining up clients beforehand, and establishing relationships with other business owners that lasted almost 50 years. Dick also brought several writers and photographers with him to Chesapeake Bay Magazine, and they ascended to lofty places, winning editorial awards and even being recognized on the international stage (for example, shooting the America’s Cup, and being regular contributors to national magazines).
Dick was a thoughtful, well-informed person who read the Wall Street Journal every day. His words matched his attire. His comments were deliberate, he always had a kind greeting or quick joke. I looked forward to annual company events, because Dick always gave a speech about the successes of the staff, or how we responded to a challenging year, and told us why subscribers were so loyal.
John Martino and I purchased Chesapeake Bay Magazine from Dick in 2014, and our weekly meetings became bi-annual lunches. He still loved talking about the economy, our subscribers, and advertising revenue. He was genuinely happy that we owned the magazine and were developing it through new digital channels, keeping the spirit of the Chesapeake Bay alive.
Dick passed away January 4, just shy of his 79th Birthday. He is survived by his beloved family, including Betty and Victoria; along with his grandchildren Katherine Elizabeth and Paul Richard; sisters Elaine Yoza (Fred), Catherine Royer, Joanne Ronayne, and Edna Wentworth (Kenny); as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins; and this magazine, which he helmed for 40 years. He will be missed.