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1936 Lillian 2021

Lillian Kupstas Royal

October 9, 1936 — November 23, 2021

Lillian Kupstas Royal (Lil), 85, of Wilkes-Barre, passed into eternal life peacefully on Tuesday morning, November 23, 2021, at home.

Born October 9, 1936, and raised in Wilkes-Barre, Lil resided there all her life. She was a daughter of the late George and Lillian Kupstas.

Lil was a 1954 graduate of Meyers High School. She was a life parishioner of St. Therese Church in South Wilkes-Barre. When the parish closed in 2011, she became a member of St. Mary's of the Immaculate Conception / Our Lady of Fatima Parish.

For 40 years, Lil worked for the former Bell of Pennsylvania (Verizon) on South Main Street as a Directory Assistance Operator, until her retirement in the late '90s. She was an active member of the Wilkes-Barre Telephone Pioneers – a community volunteer organization associated with her workplace. Lil attended monthly sing-a-longs at local adult daycare centers, an activity that she was regularly involved with since its launch over 30 years ago. During the holiday season, she would go caroling to nursing homes to visit resident Pioneers. When the Pioneers would visit local schools, she would read to elementary classrooms. She also participated in a pen pal project for volunteers to write monthly letters to students in local schools. Whenever the Pioneers had a project, she was always there to help. She looked forward to the Pioneer luncheons.
Lil was very involved with her church and local community. She attended the weekly Novena at St. Therese Church, helped with many parish bake sales, rummage sales, and bazaars, was a frequent volunteer for numerous charities and organizations. For many years, Lil volunteered with the Pennsylvania Association for the Blind, performing visual screenings for children for their kindergarten registrations and attending the Association's monthly bingo games and annual picnics for the blind and visually impaired. She rang bells for the Salvation Army during the holiday season.

Throughout her life and after retirement, Lil treasured her life in Wilkes-Barre and Wyoming Valley. She adored being with Hank, the love of her life and husband of 48 years at his passing, and spending quality time with her children, grandchildren, and extended family and friends. She loved cooking – especially homemade soups. An inside family joke was that it could even be 95 degrees outside in the summer, and anyone could come into her kitchen, at any time, to the comforting aroma of homemade chicken or beef soup on the stove, ready to serve and enjoy around her table. Lil hosted all family holiday gatherings in her home. She also loved to prepare and serve her favorite meal, turkey dinner, with all the trimmings, on Sundays throughout the year. When she wasn't in the kitchen or volunteering, she enjoyed watching classic films and her favorite shows, attending sporting events, traveling to Pittsburgh and Washington, DC to visit family, and shopping and dining out at local establishments with Hank, her children, grandchildren, and friends.
Lil was a woman of great faith. Every morning and before she started her day, she said a rosary. Lil kept vigil candles lit near the outdoor grotto of the Blessed Mother that Hank built for her at the family home on Oak Street. If anyone shared with her news of their personal fears, struggles, a loved one who was ill, a job or promotion that they were trying to get, an exam that they needed to pass, a game that they wanted to win, whatever - good or bad – the name of the person in need was written on the lengthy prayer intention list that she kept on the kitchen counter in her home. The grotto candles were continually burning for those intentions. In addition to prayers, Lil regularly sent cards of love and support to her family and friends, often including scratch-off lottery tickets tucked inside.

In 2008, Hank, her beloved husband of 48 years, preceded her in death. She was also predeceased by her parents, brother Leonard Kupstas, and sister Clementine (Teen) Helfrich.

Lillian is survived by her son, Henry Jr. and wife, Donna, and their children, Lauren, Marena, and Hank, Cranberry Township; her daughter, Barbara Miller and her husband, David, and their children, Sarah and Olivia, Forty Fort; son, James and his wife, Joetta, and their children, Natalie, James II and Roman, Cranberry Township; daughter, Elizabeth Royal Longanacre and her husband, Timothy and his daughter, Jessica Longanacre Lovejoy, her husband, Michael, and their children, Amelia, Fletcher, and Juniper, all of Northern Virginia.

Lil was a faithful and devoted daughter, sister, wife, mother, aunt, Nana, and friend. She will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her. Her family will remember her for her love and dedication to Hank and her family, deep spiritual faith, sayings, patriotism and love of the USA, service to her community, and the compassionate and spirited lady she was.

Celebration of Lillian's Life begins Sunday, November 28, 2021 with visitation from 2 to 5 PM at McLaughlin's, 142 South Washington Street in Wilkes-Barre and continues there on Monday, November 29, 2021 with gathering at 8:30 AM followed by a Funeral Mass at 9:30 AM in the Church of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception. Interment will be in Saint Mary's Cemetery.

Donations to any of her favorite charities: Pennsylvania Association for the Blind, National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, Wounded Warriors, or St. Jude Chidren's Research Hospital, will honor Lil's memory.

Share memories and condolences with Lillian's family at
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Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, November 28, 2021

2:00 - 5:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Monday, November 29, 2021

Starts at 8:30 am (Eastern time)

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Funeral Mass

Monday, November 29, 2021

Starts at 9:30 am (Eastern time)

Church of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception

130 South Washington Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701

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