38-year-old officer, soldier dies surrounded by community he loved
While attending an officer leadership course in Fort Sill, Oklahoma last month, Cedric Roy experienced some hip pain. Following some tests, he was diagnosed with angiosarcoma, cancer of the inner lining of blood vessels. Roy was transfered to UAMS, where he stayed for two weeks. He died on Wednesday, just two days before his 39th birthday, surrounded by soldiers, officers, and loved ones.
Cedric Roy was larger than life. Officer, soldier, volunteer, husband, father - those are just a few of the titles he proudly claimed.
"He just had a personality that I'm going to miss. He was care-free. He was absolutely goofy. He never took anything serious unless he had to, like work-life, but outside of that, everything was up for grabs. He wanted to have fun. He loved to laugh," remembered his wife Heather Roy.
Heather can tell story after story, but so can dozens of others in the community. Roy served as a police officer in various roles for nearly a decade. He was a SWAT Team Sergeant, a K9 officer, and worked with at-risk kids in the OK Program. That's where he met Sgt. Willie Davis, who still likes to tell stories of the boys in the program being amazed that Roy could stand under the basketball hoop and dunk.
"That big size and the fact that this guy was this big awesome man, but he was a loveable soft, gentle guy to those boys who loved him," said Sgt. Davis.
Years later, Heather said they would run into former OK Program students who would still come up to Roy and thank him.
Some days he traded his police uniform for a military one. Roy served as an officer in the Arkansas National Guard.
"I mean look at the choices he made for his careers, as a police officer, as a member of the Arkansas National Guard. He believes in serving the community," said Sgt. 1st Class Jerry Bowling.
However, perhaps Roy's greatest role was dad.
"He was an excellent father. He told me that was his greatest accomplishment, and that he was glad. He told me 'I want to make him proud,' and that's why he strived so hard to do that, so he had someone to look up to," said Heather.
Roy led by example. He went back to college to finish his degree, then got his master's degree and had just been accepted into a PhD program. Heather says Roy wanted an education for his 10-year-old son, so she's set up a memorial college fund at First Security Bank.
Anyone in the community can donate to the Cedric Roy Memorial fund at any First Security branch.