Marilyn H. Royal

Memorial Fund

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Marilyn Royal

Donations in the form of checks may be mailed to:
(make check payable to Henrico Education Foundation and include Marilyn H. Royal Memorial Fund in the memo)

Henrico Education Foundation
P.O. Box 31413
Henrico, VA 23294

To make a gift of stocks, mutual funds, bonds or other charitable trusts or bequests, please contact Jay Shively or (804) 877-9401.

In the grand experiment of education, where curiosity is the catalyst and discovery the outcome, a brilliant scientist of pedagogy has concluded her earthly exploration. Marilyn (Elise) Hinson Royal, a trailblazing force at the intersection of teaching, learning, and leadership, transitioned to her heavenly home on Friday, November 24, 2023, leaving behind a legacy as vast as the universe she inspired her students to explore. With the precision of a scientist and the heart of an educator, she ignited a spark of curiosity in people of all ages that will inevitably continue to illuminate the minds of generations to come.

A native Richmonder, Marilyn’s life was an eloquent symphony of love, compassion, beauty, grace, and selfless service. As such, this ignited Marilyn’s passion for learning. Matriculating through Richmond Public Schools (RPS), Marilyn graduated from Armstrong High School in 1977 and immediately enrolled in Morgan State University (MSU) in Baltimore, Maryland. Hundreds of lifetime memories were created during her time at MSU, but the one that stands above all was meeting Donald Keith Hinson in 1978, whom she would later wed in July of 1982.

Having education in her blood from a lineage of devoted and well-known educators, Marilyn graduated from MSU in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science in Earth and Planetary Sciences and immediately began teaching science for HCPS at John Rolfe Middle School. In 1991, Marilyn earned a Master of Education Degree in Administration and Supervision from VCU. In 1993, Marilyn's exceptional dedication and profound impact on education were officially recognized when she was honored with the prestigious HCPS Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award. This accolade not only underscored her commitment to excellence in teaching but also highlighted her ability to inspire and uplift those within her classroom and the educational community.

For over 42 years, Marilyn would serve the students, families, and community of HCPS as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and director. Of all the titles, “School Principal” was her favorite. She served with distinction as the Principal of Wilder Middle School from 1999-2004 before becoming Director of Middle School Instruction and returning to her love as Principal of Tuckahoe Middle School from 2010-2014 before her retirement. From 2014 until her untimely passing, Marilyn served and supported numerous secondary schools as an administrator as well as coached several new school leaders. Marilyn’s love for her craft and service would not allow her to really retire. As a remarkable testament to her leadership and educational prowess, Marilyn achieved the esteemed title of HCPS 2002-2003 Instructional Leader of the Year. Marilyn's visionary approach to educational leadership and her unwavering commitment to fostering a culture of learning excellence were instrumental in earning her this distinguished recognition.

Beyond her passion for education, Marilyn found solace and joy in the simple pleasures of life. A lover of nature, she cherished moments spent by the water, casting her line in pursuit of the next great catch. Fishing was not just a hobby for Marilyn; it was a tranquil escape that allowed her to connect with the beauty of the outdoors and recharge her spirit.

Marilyn’s passion for service extended far beyond the classroom. She was an active member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Upsilon Omega Chapter, where she tirelessly worked to uplift and empower the community through education initiatives and mentorship programs. Additionally, her involvement in the Richmond Chapter of the Epicureans (Eppies) showcased her commitment to cultivating meaningful social connections, fostering a spirit of camaraderie, and celebrating the joy found in shared experiences with like-minded individuals. Marilyn was an active and devoted member of Garland Avenue Baptist Church, where she wholeheartedly served as a dedicated Vacation Bible School Teacher, sharing her passion for faith and education with the community's youngest members.

Amidst all her accomplishments, Marilyn's biggest source of pride and joy was her only child, Donald-William Murray Hinson. As a beacon of love in her life, Marilyn cherished every moment with her beloved son. Her boundless devotion to Donald was evident in every aspect of her life, and she would willingly have given the world for his happiness and well-being. She unabashedly boasted to everyone how proud she was about the man he had become.

This memorial fund is a way to remember and honor Marilyn, a rare and beautiful spirit that radiated warmth and kindness to everyone she encountered.