Roy Porter Britton, 83, longtime Ellsworth resident and former President and Chairman of the Board of Citizens State Bank and Trust Company, died peacefully at his home Nov. 30, 2008 following a short illness with lung cancer.
Roy was born November 23, 1925, in Mapleton, Kansas, to Don Britton and Effie Belle Porter Britton. The family, including sister Virginia Lou, moved to Ellsworth in 1936 when Don was sent to Ellsworth by the Reconstruction Finance Corporation to restructure the bank. He later was named president of Citizens State Bank.
Growing up in Ellsworth, Roy joined the Boy Scouts in 1937, achieving the rank of Life Scout. In the summer of 1943, he joined the Army Air Corps as a Cadet Reserve at the Smoky Hill Air Base. Roy was called to active duty in November, 1943, but received a deferment in order to finish high school. He reported for active duty in May of 1944 after graduating Ellsworth High School and served at air bases in California, Colorado, Nebraska, North Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin and was attached to B-29 bomber squadrons while serving at Riverside, Pueblo and Greensboro. One of his greatest pleasures was playing drums in a band for Donald O’Conner when he performed on Army Air Corps bases. His skill on the drums was not to be out done by his skill on the dance floor.
After attending the University of Kansas from 1946 to 1948, Roy became a bookkeeper at the First National Bank in Hays. He joined the Comptroller of Currency in 1949 as an Assistant National Bank Examiner, first being assigned to Oklahoma City, then to Kansas City in 1951. In the spring of 1952, Roy returned to Ellsworth and became an assistant cashier at Citizens State Bank.
Roy was named to the Board of Directors at Citizens State Bank in 1955. In 1956, he graduated from the University of Wisconsin Graduate School of Banking, and in 1959, he graduated from the Rutgers Graduate School of Banking. After his father’s death in 1968, Roy was named President and CEO of Citizens State Bank. While leading Citizens State Bank, Roy served as the State Bank Commissioner from 1979 to 1982 under Governor John Carlin.
As an active participant in both community and state affairs, Roy served on the state board of directors for the Farm Home Administration in the late 1960s, was active as a Boy Scout Master and served on the Central Kansas Boy Scout Executive Council from 1968 to 1974, was a member of the Masons, Isis Shrine, the Royal Order of Jesters, the Lions Club, and served as a delegation leader for a group of Kansas bankers on a People-to-People exchange to China. His work to benefit the City of Ellsworth ensured that multiple businesses, including the Essex Corporation, Parkton Corporation, Chickasha Mobile Homes, Ellsworth Correctional Facility and Cashco Corporation relocated to the town.
Roy formed Britton Bancshares in 1984 and was named “Outstanding Citizen of 1985” by the Ellsworth-Kanopolis Chamber of Commerce. He continued to serve as President and CEO of Citizens State Bank until his retirement in September, 1993.
On March 17, 1951, Roy was married to Margaret Jean (Peggy) Baker in Salina. The couple had three children: son Dane Blackmour Britton, born March 13, 1952; son Todd Tedlock Britton, born July 10, 1953; and daughter Allyson Britton, born July 30, 1954.
Roy’s surviving family includes wife Peg Britton of Ellsworth; son Todd Britton and wife, Karen, of Ellsworth; daughter Allyson Britton of Ellsworth; granddaughter Mackenzie Britton Vahalik and husband, Luke of Royse City, TX; and grandsons Rod Helus, Lenexa; Drew Britton, Manhattan; and A1C Tyler Britton USAF, San Antonio, TX.
He was preceded in death by parents Don Britton and Effie Britton of Ellsworth; sister Virginia Britton Small; and beloved son Dane Blackmour Britton.
No formal services will be held but please join us for a Celebration of Life with family, friends and food Thursday December 4th at 4:00 p.m. at the American Legion Hall, on highway 40 in Ellsworth. Doug Stefek leading military rites, Jesse Manning, Joshua Svaty, Lew McAtee, Tyler Britton and Alan Doubrava will initiate the celebration at 4:00 pm.
Roy’s favorite pastime in recent years has been reading books from the J.H. Robbins Memorial Library. The family suggests donations to the library at 219 N. Lincoln or the Ellsworth County Medical Center, that has been so helpful to him and his family, at 1604 Aylward, Ellsworth 67439, in lieu of flowers.
(This was written by our friend, Jesse Manning)