Many may think success is measured by the amount of money in the bank - or the number and size of houses owned. However, one Houston man has a lifetime of experiences which demonstrates that helping others become successful is what defines real purpose in life. Roy Dye, Texan native and resident of The Plaza at The Buckingham, has a resume of lifetime service that would seem to require several lifetimes. Having devoted the majority of his life to serving multiple non-profit organizations, it’s hard to imagine where he found the time for his day job. But Roy Dye was successful at everything he did, especially on behalf of others.
Born in Claude, Texas, Dye graduated from Texas A&M University in 1939 with a degree in animal husbandry. He served four years in the United States Army during World War II, eventually rising to the rank of Captain. When he returned to the U.S., he moved his wife, Anna Mae, and their eldest child to College Station to pursue his master’s degree at Texas A&M. While there, the school asked him to serve as county agent in El Paso, a position he held for a year, before impressing a representative from Sears, who eventually convinced Dye to begin work at Sears. It was with Sears that Dye’s lifelong journey of volunteerism, community service and philanthropic work began.
During his 37 years with Sears (Dye retired as Group Manager of the entire Gulf Coast region in 1981), he supported dozens of organizations, including serving on the boards of for the Better Business Bureau, Houston Symphony, Urban League of Houston, March of Dimes and the Houston Chamber of Commerce, just to name a few. He is a lifetime director for the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Council as well as the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
One area Dye is particularly fond of is the Roy L. Dye Therapeutic Riding Program, which he endowed through Texas A&M University. The program uses horses to assist in the development of disabled and troubled youth. The program was so successful that it garnered Dye the prestigious Volunteer Service Award from the National Agriculture Alumni and Development Association.
“We have some amazing residents at both The Buckingham and The Plaza at The Buckingham,” said Cathy Lightfoot, director of sales and marketing at The Buckingham. “Mr. Dye’s life is awe inspiring when you think of the amount of hours he has spent volunteering and how many lives he touched. He has such a humble manner, you would not think that he is a man with so many prestigious awards. We feel extremely lucky and honored to have he and his wife a part of our community.”
Serving as a positive role model for the youth of America is a responsibility Dye has always taken very seriously. He has given thousands of volunteer hours to the Boy Scouts of America, specifically the Sam Houston Area Council of the Boy Scouts. He received the top two awards in the organization, the Silver Antelope and the Silver Beaver, both awarded based distinguished giving and scouting work. Dye was also helpful in starting the first Boy Scout troop for disabled youth in the country. In recognition of his hard work, a building was dedicated to his involvement in the sale of land in the Memorial neighborhood which is now home to the Bovay Scout Ranch.
Dye’s generosity and kind spirit carried over into retirement, where he continued his service with local non-profit organizations. Dye is a proud Aggie, and is service on behalf of his alma mater earned him membership into the Endowed Diamond Century Club. He was later given the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Outstanding Alumni Award, and he served on the Texas A&M Research Foundation for 16 years.
As a faithful member of Chapelwood United Methodist Church, Dye spent a large part of his retirement visiting local hospitals every Wednesday to offer support to patients and their families. He is said to have visited over 6,000 patients.
Some people donate time and money for the accolades and awards, Dye does it because of his compassion and interest in humankind. He takes pride in each award and honor he has received, all with the utmost humility. A true family man at his core, Dye’s main goal behind his hard work was to provide his three children with a college education. That he did, managing to produce a graduate from A&M, the University of Texas and North Texas State.
At 93, Dye may not have the energy he used to, but he does take deep satisfaction in reflecting on a life of service and the countless memories of the people he met along the way. By his side to this very day, the woman who so kindly and unselfishly shared her beloved husband’s time, stands his lovely wife Anna Mae. Today they share a lifetime of memories and the satisfaction of investing their lives in others. Time and age may have slowed their bodies, but nothing can dim the gladness that springs from touching countless lives with their own. Their warm voices, bright eyes and knowing glances reveal that they would gladly do it all over again.
ABOUT THE BUCKINGHAM
The Buckingham is Houston’s premier life care senior living community located in the Memorial neighborhood. Situated on a 17-acre site along Buffalo Bayou at 8580 Woodway Drive, The Buckingham offers resort-style services and amenities for active, independent seniors, as well as all levels of health care services on-site at The Plaza at The Buckingham. The community features 205 independent living residences; 43 private assisted living apartments; 16 private memory support apartments; and 60 private skilled nursing suites.
The Buckingham is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit senior living community owned by Senior Quality Lifestyles Corporation (SQLC), a Texas-based nonprofit organization that owns sister communities Edgemere in Dallas, Querencia at Barton Creek in Austin, The Stayton at Museum Way under construction in Fort Worth, and Mirador in Corpus Christi. For information visit www.buckinghamhouston.com, or call (832) 426-1372.