**Originally posted on usawaterski.org
Royce Andes, who introduced water skiing to the disabled community in 1983 with the development of the sit ski, passed away on May 5, 2018, at Enloe Hospital in Chico, Calif. The resident of Biggs, Calif., was 70 years old.
Royce was born Oct. 10, 1947, to Carrol and Jacquie Andes. He graduated from Biggs High School in 1965, and was a life-long resident of Biggs. Royce served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War in Intelligence. In 1976, Royce married Mary Wangberg of Richvale. They had 2 children, Neil and Leia. In 1978, he received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Physical Education from California State University in Chico.
In 1982, Royce was injured in a barefoot water skiing accident leaving him a quadriplegic. For the last 35 years, Royce was unwavering in his goal to help other disabled individuals. His love for water skiing led him to develop a modified water ski for paraplegics. Through his relentless efforts he patented the "Kan Ski" and over the years taught numerous disabled individuals to water ski. Among those he mentored, several went on to become world-class water skiers and gold medalists at the Disabled Water Ski World Championships.
Royce was also instrumental in organizing a "Kids Camp" through Ability First Sports. This organization offered a weeklong summer camp for children with disabilities, giving these kids the opportunity to experience water skiing. Royce wanted to further his college education, so he once again enrolled at California State University in Chico and in 1998 received his Master of Arts Degree in Physical Education. He was an inspirational speaker for numerous classes over the years.
Royce was preceded in death by his parents, Carrol & Jacquie Andes and his youngest brother, Kevin. He is survived by his son, Neil (wife Kim), granddaughter, Rilynn and grandson, Lincoln; his daughter, Leia (husband Walter), grandson, Dylan; his brother, Gary (wife Marna); and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Funeral services will be conducted at the Gridley-Biggs Cemetery on Monday, May 14, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. A celebration of Royce's life will be held immediately following the service at the Gridley Moose Lodge. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Ability First Sports in Royce Andes name.