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Monday, April 07, 2014

David Royce, 82, Town Activist

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David Royce, longtime activist for various causes in Westport—including taking part in weekly peace vigils in Westport’s center—died Friday in Greenwich Hospital after a two-year battle with lymphoma, according to his wife, Nina. He was 82. An inveterate letter writer to local newspapers, Royce, a Harvard graduate, in 1982 picketed outside the Westport News office to protest what he said was its refusal to print his letter taking exception to an editorial on revaluation. In 1987, he was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge when he refused to relinquish the microphone at a session of the Representative Town Meeting (RTM). The charge was later dismissed. Royce said he took pride in a 1974 campaign he launched to have the newly shuttered Bedford Elementary School converted to a new Town Hall. He was initially rebuffed, but Town Hall opened there in 1978. He told a 2008 RTM meeting: “I was here before most of you and I’ll be here after most of you leave. I love Westport. In fact, the reason you are sitting here tonight instead of in a brick box by the river is because a long time ago I alone fought for the use of this former school instead of a new building as our Town Hall.” WestportNow.com file photo

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