TRAVERSE CITY — Kenneth Ernest King, 82, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, June 18, 2013, after a hard-fought battle with Parkinsons. Ken was born on May 6, 1931, to Kenneth and Lillie King in Kewadin and was a lifelong resident of Traverse City.
He graduated from Traverse City Central High School in 1949.
He served our country in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War as a teletype operator and had many fond memories of his time while stationed in California.
He was introduced by his cousin (and partner in laughter), JoAnn to the love of his life, Barbara Jean Flees. They were married on Aug. 20, 1955. He and his “Tiger Paw” were a devoted couple for almost 58 years. Together they built a home filled with love, caring and laughter.
Ken raised two daughters, Connie (John) Kobberstad and Gyneth King. His daughters were truly “Daddy’s Girls” in every sense of the term. He taught them the meaning of hard work, modelled love and commitment and was always there to support them with whatever they needed. He doted on and was exceptionally proud of his twin grandsons, Matthew and Kenneth Kobberstad.
As a young man he worked for many years as a maintenance and delivery man for Pine Grove Homes and then found his true calling as a carpenter. Ken, with the assistance of his father-in-law, Joe Flees, built their family home where the walls remain straight and corners square after many, many years.
Ken will be remembered by his family and friends as a great tease and for his ability to find humor in everyday life. He was a wonderful conversationalist and so easily made friends that even routine shopping trips were extended as we waited for him to finish his conversations. He was a gentle man who enjoyed old western movies, watching cartoons (his favorite was Road Runner) and big band music, especially Glen Miller. One of the highlights of his later years was attending a concert where his own grandson performed some of his beloved big band tunes.
He always enjoyed a good meal and had a “sweet tooth.” He particularly enjoyed his wife’s homemade cinnamon rolls and regularly appreciated her dedication to mastering the secret to the family recipe for brown sugar candy. His daughter, Gyneth, an accomplished baker, always made sure that there were treats in the house for his enjoyment.
He was preceded in death by his father, mother and a sister, Jackie.
He is survived by his devoted and caring wife; his daughters; his son-in-law; grandsons; a brother, William (Bonnie) King; nephews, Philip Cook, William Cook and Todd King; a niece, Melissa King; and many cousins and friends.
The King family will receive friends at the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home today, June 21, 2013, from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m., with a Scripture service at 7:30 p.m. His life will be celebrated at a funeral Mass on Saturday, June 22, 2013, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, at 11 a.m., with visitation one hour prior to the service. The Rev. Anthony Citro will officiate. Cremation will follow then burial will take place in Grand Traverse Memorial Gardens.
Ken’s family wishes to thank the staff at Arbor House where he spent his last months. You truly are angels of mercy and we cannot express how much we appreciate the tenderness and loving he received while in your care.
Donations may be directed to the Grawn Fire Department - “Red 5.” Envelopes may be obtained at the funeral home or church.
Kindly share your memories with the family on their online guestbook at www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com.
Arrangements were made with the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services.