Kenneth Duane King Memorial

Kenneth D. King's Obituary

The world lost a remarkable man and a devoted father on Nov. 17, 1999. Kenneth Duane King was born on June 24, 1922 in Whittimore, IA. His parents were Howard and Victoria King. He was one of 12 children. On May 2nd, 1946 he married Beverly Jean Wiggins, the love of his life, in Jackson, MN. They were blissfully married for 53 years and had five children. They lived half of their married life in Iowa and then moved to Arizona where they settled in Mesa. They recently relocated to Prescott.

Kenneth served in the Army during WWII. He was a housing contractor in Emmetsburg and Esterville, Iowa and was credited with some of the best custom built homes in the state. Ken also served as the head of March of Dimes for one year after his eldest son had polio. Ken raised the largest amount of donations on record at that time. In 1961, he went to work for FHA as a building inspector and retired as the Chief Architect of the Phoenix office.

Kenneth is survived by his loving wife, four children, four grandchildren and eight brothers and sisters. The children; Wayne (Bert) in Tempe, Robert (Carrie) in Prescott Valley, Diana in Prescott and Jennifer (John) Bartos in Prescott. The grandchildren; Savannah, Cody, Michael and Jeff. Ken's brothers and sisters are Jim King Buckeye, AZ; Bud King Emmetsburg, IA; Etta Myers Peoria, AZ; Kati Boitnott, Mesa, AZ; Irene Munden, Mesa, AZ; Garnet Adams, Storm Lake, IA, Donnajean Studer, Iowa & Texas and Dixie Viecy MN.

In lieu of Flowers please send Donations to the Alzheimer's Foundation in Prescott, AZ
in Kenneth King's Name


Ode to Kenny King

My dad got up at a quarter to four,
Nearly every day.
No particular reason,
He was just built that way.

Starch white shirt and a thin black tie,
he's got his hair cut above his ears.
Got a shine on his new shoes,
With the guarantee he got from Sears.

My Dad was a carpenter,
He never swore or drank.
He never smoked no cigarettes,
He just hammered nails in planks
He was level on that level,
Shaved even every door
And he voted for John F. Kennedy
Cause he still liked F.D.R.

Born in the 20's, he grew up,
During the Great Depression.
He learned to make due with what he had,
It left a real impression.
He grew up with a dozen kids
And they were short a plate or two
So if ya didn't make it to the table on time,
Honey, that was it for you.

He never liked no foreign food,
None of it met his lips.
He'd cry out for Iowa beef
And honey, burn it to a crisp.
No English humor, no rock-n-roll,
No poems that do not rhyme.
But if he heard a corny joke,
He'd tell it to you a thousand times.

My Dad was a carpenter,
He never swore or drank.
He never smoked no cigarettes,
He just hammered nails in planks
He was level on that level,
Shaved even every door
And he voted for John F. Kennedy
Cause he didn't want no war.

He'd sing teruda-da-da, du-da-da,
And ride you on his knee.
And then go out to the workshop,
While we all watched T.V.
Seemed he'd rather work than relax,
He was not like other folks
And the only time he would take a break
was for a snickers and a coke.

But he handmade gifts from the heart,
And varnished them with love.
A puppet stand for the boys
And the girls, they got a stove.
He loved his wife,
He loved his kids.
He raised 'em up strong and true.
He only went to church 3 times a year
But he lived by The Golden Rule.

You see, my Dad was a carpenter,
He never swore or drank.
He never smoked no cigarettes,
He just hammered nails in planks
He was level on that level,
Shaved even every door
He left this earth late last week
That's all - there ain't no more.


Robert Duane King's Homepage


Kenneth Duane King's Eulogy

Friends, Family and Loved Ones....
We are poorer today for the loss of our beloved Kenneth King. A loving husband and devoted father. A good son and wonderful brother.

Born during the depression and being one of 12 children, he learned the meaning of sacrifice.
As a Golden Gloves boxer he learned the meaning of endurance.
In World War II he learned the meaning of valor.
Through his wife, children and his family he learned the meaning of love.
All of these qualities he kept his entire life
and he shared them with everyone he met.

To help his family through hard times, Kenny began working when he was very young. Before school he would deliver milk in a horse drawn wagon. After school he worked in his uncle's creamery. Eventually, he dropped out of school to work on the railroad with his father and brothers. When World War II broke out, he went into the Army and was sent to fight in the Philipines and Korea. There he ran supply trains for the troops and risked his life many times by crawling into sniper holes to flush out the enemy. In all, he served his country bravely and honorably.

The day after he got out of the service, Kenny met Beverly Jean Wiggins, the love of his life. Two months later they ran off and eloped. They were blissfully married for 53 years and had 5 children.

Kenny was the essence of a self-made man. With little formal education he made his way with common sense and self confidence. With no training, he began building houses and is now credited with some of the finest custom built homes in the state. His talent was recognized by the Federal Housing Administration and was hired on to check other contractor's work. Undaunted by his lack of book learning, he took on the testing procedures that the government required and surpassed everyone's expectations. He rose quickly through the ranks and retired as the Chief Architect. After he retired, his attention to detail and professionalism made him highly sought after as an expert consultant.

The greatest tragedy that can befall a man is the loss of a child. When his son Donny died on Christmas day, he was there to comfort and console his grieving wife. Later when others would have given up, he pressed on to father a large loving family. One of the only times he accepted outside help was when his eldest was stricken during the big polio epidemic. He repaid that help by taking over The March of Dimes the next year and raised a record amount of money.

He had no selfish vices. He never drank or smoked. He spent his time with his wife and family. Kenny never hesitated to help anyone and he expected nothing in return He was always giving and never needy.

He loved to laugh and to make other people laugh. His laugh was contagious. Just the start of a well worn joke "Have you heard the one about the steamroller" would bring peels of laughter and groans of joy.

He was a just and honorable man.
He was a man of integrity and great moral fiber. He excelled in an occupation that relies entirely on honesty and trust. His thirst for knowledge was unquinchable. Kenny's zest for life was unstopable. Even suffering the ravages of this horrible disease could not shake his undying love for his wife and family.

When we think about Ken, let us remember how fully he lived his life.
Now he has gone home to be reunited with his parents, his infant son and with the Lord.
We will never live a day without feeling his influence on our lives.
All that I am, I owe to him.


And a poem from his grandson, Dakota Bradley King

Kenneth King

When the great journey of life ends,

everyone feels woeful and gloomy.

But when I remember you, I know,

Heaven is the place for you.

And so I dedicate this poem

to the greatest man I know.

Parting is such sweet sorrow,

but forever you will stay in my heart!



I have just come away from your dad's memorial page, and my eyes are wet, because my heart is joyous and sad. That is a beautiful tribute, and I know your dad would be so proud of you. Your dad was a hero to your cousins and uncles and grandparents . He was so handsome and your mom so beautiful. They were a terrific example of a dedicated, happily married couple who quickly worked their way up the ladder of success. I know that they have had a positive influence on my life as on many others. God has truly blessed the Kings. We all have wonderful memories of Grandpa and Grandma and their twelve beautiful children. I am looking forward to the day that we all see The King of Kings and gather with our families around the throne of grace. Thanks for telling me about the page. I plan to visit it often.
Larry Douglas


So sorry to hear about Kenny. We know where he is and that he is at peace.
I have so many good memories of him.
You know that Beverly and Kenny took us to Jackson Minn. to get married. July 27th 1946. I guess, as I grew up I followed him and Howard Jr. all over. When we went skating he was manager of the skating rink in Emmetsburg.
I remember he used to be a boxer. He said to me that he boxed 29 times and won and on the 30th time he lost 'cause he slipped going around the corner.
Please give Beverly a hug from Pat and Lou.
Pat and Lou Gerleman.


I, too, not only lost my father on May 28th, but seven weeks later, my mom went to join him. Just like with your Dad, it was a horrible blessing. Love knows no bounds no matter how painful the circumstances may have been in the past.
My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family. Give your mom my wholehearted condolences.
We love you!
Twila & Ken


Our condolances to you and your family. We feel for you and you will be in our prayers. Rest assured your Dad is in very good hands now, as he is with his savior. With a mind that is once again sharp as a tack. Call me if you need ANYTHING. How is the family holding up? Every one of you have been in our prayers every day. We've been thinking about you often. Take care and give your Mom my best as well as the others.
Hank & Melissa Whittier


I'm so sorry for your loss. I just heard about Kenny. I thought you might want some family time, so I didn't call, but my heart was with you. I know that you need the King family right now. It's good that they are such a close family. If there's anything I can do for you, please let me know. If you need errands run or meals fixed whatever.... Again, I am sorry that you have to go through this for such a wonderful, wonderful man. I love and miss you all VERY much. Call me when you feel up to it.
All my love,



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