Lt. Gen. John Quill Taylor King Sr., Ph.D.

  • Born: September 25, 1921
  • Died: August 3, 2011
  • Location: Austin, Texas

King-Tears Mortuary Inc.

1300 E 12th ST.
Austin, TX 78702

Tribute & Message From The Family

THE EARLY YEARS John Quill Taylor King, Sr. was born September 25, 1921 in Memphis, Tennessee to Dr. John Quill Taylor and Alice Clinton Woodson Taylor. (His mother was a direct descendent of Thomas Woodson, son of slave Sally Hemings and her owner, Thomas Jefferson. Dr. King along with other descendents did extensive research on this fact and attended several family reunions at Monticello.) He was the third child born to this union. His oldest sister, Alice, died as a young child. When Dr. King was a young boy, his father died as a result of injuries sustained during World War I. His mother later married Mr. Charles B. King and Dr. King and his sister Edwina took their stepfather's last name. The family moved to Austin, Texas in 1933 and Mr. and Mrs. King opened the King Funeral Home (now King-Tears Mortuary, Inc.) which was located at 1107 East 6th Street. Dr. King attended Gregorytown School and the original L. C. Anderson High School graduating in 1936 at the age of 15. He followed his sister Edwina and attended Fisk University where his mother and maternal grandmother were also graduates. While at Fisk, Dr. King met the one and only true love of his life, Marcet Hines, a beautiful young lady from Chicago, Illinois. They married June 28, 1942 and this union lasted until Marcet's death on March 14, 1995. Four children were born to this union. EDUCATION Dr. King was a strong advocate of education. His credentials include B.A. Degree in Mathematics from Fisk University, Nashville, Tennessee, B.S. Degree from Huston-Tillotson College, Austin, TX, a M.S. Degree from DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois, and a Ph.D. Degree in Mathematics and Statistics from The University of Texas at Austin in 1957. He received the Honorary Degree Doctor of Laws from both Southwestern University, Georgetown, Texas and St. Edwards University, Austin, Texas, and the Honorary Degree Doctor of Humane Letters from both Austin College, Sherman, Texas and Fisk University, and the Honorary Degree Doctor of Science from Huston-Tillotson College. He also held a Phi Beta Kappa Key. PROFESSIONAL CAREER In 1947, Dr. King and his wife both joined the faculty of Huston-Tillotson College (now University) a college related to The United Church of Christ and The United Methodist Church. He was Professor of Mathematics for several years and Dean of the College for five years, and was appointed President in 1965 and Chancellor in 1987. He retired on June 30, 1988 and was named Chancellor and President Emeritus. He subsequently served as Director and Chair of the Center for the Advancement of Science, Engineering, and Technology (CASET), a Research Component of the College. Dr. King loved Huston-Tillotson!!! While Dean and President, he was always on the road raising funds and recruiting students, many of whom would not have attended college were it not for Dr. John Q. Taylor King, Sr. He was a mentor to many and a friend to all. He often brought students home for dinner and tutoring even after becoming President. Some of the students who could not afford to go home for Thanksgiving or Christmas either stayed at his home with the family or he would find somewhere for them to stay until school started again. His love for Huston-Tillotson and his students was immeasurable. RELIGIOUS LIFE Dr. King truly loved his church and was raised at Wesley Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church, now Wesley United Methodist Church where he was active as a Lay Leader for many years and served in many other capacities. He was a delegate to each General and Jurisdictional Conference of The United Methodist Church from 1956 through 1988. Dr. King was a former Lay Leader of the Southwest Texas Conference and was President of the General Council on Ministries of The United Methodist Church from 1972 to 1980. One of his passions was singing and he began singing in the church in the children's choir, continued as an adult in the Wesley Chancel Choir, the Men's Chorus and finally the renowned Wesley Intergenerational Choir which was very dear to his heart. Right by his side was his beloved Marcet who was the church organist for over 50 years. MILITARY CAREER General King entered World War II as a Private, served as a Captain in the Pacific Theater of Operations, and retired from the Army of the United States as a Major General on August 22, 1983. Since WWII, General King served in Alaska, Japan, Korea, Okinawa, Germany, Hawaii, and at many other U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force Installations. He completed courses at several Senior Service Schools, including the Command and General Staff College, the Air War College, the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, the Logistics Executive Development Course, and the SROC at the Army War College. He has received many military awards and decorations. Former Texas Governor Mark White promoted him to the rank of Lieutenant General in the Texas State Guard in 1985. One of his great uncles was a member of the Buffalo Soldiers which led him to research this illustrious group and he was often asked to give presentations on their history. PROFESSIONAL, CIVIC, AND FRATERNAL AFFILIATIONS Participating actively in civic, professional and fraternal organizations, he was a life member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., a member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Phi Delta Kappa Fraternity, Inc. Epsilon Nu Delta Mortuary Fraternity, several professional and honor societies, and is a 33rd Degree Mason and a Shriner. He was the youngest and first to be initiated a Master Mason at the age of 17. A licensed mortician, he was President of King-Tears Mortuary, Inc. Among his many honors are Alumni Awards from Huston-Tillotson College and Fisk University; the Carl Bredt Award from The University of Texas College of Education, Brotherhood Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews, the Distinguished Service from Texas Lutheran College in Seguin, Texas, Roy Wilkins Meritorious Award from the NAACP, the Arthur B. DeWitty, The Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award, the Frederick D. Patterson Award, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the Minority Advocate of the Year Award from the Austin Chamber of Commerce, the Military Education Award from the San Antonio League of the National Association of Business and Professional Women's Clubs, Inc., the Whitney M. Young, Jr. Award from the Austin Area Urban League, the 1990 Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Ex-Students' Association of The University of Texas at Austin, the 1991 Philanthropist of the Year in Austin Award from the National Society of Fund Raising Executives, Austin Chapter, and the 1994 Man of The Year Award from the Independent Funeral Directors of Texas, Inc. On May 6, 2011 he was recognized at the 25th Anniversary of the Heman Sweat Symposium at The University of Texas at Austin. Well known as a writer, collaborating with others on four textbooks in mathematics, and contributing many articles to professional and religious journals, Dr. King was co-author with his wife of two books, Stories of Twenty-three Famous Negro Americans, and Famous Black Americans, and a booklet on the life of Mrs. Mary McCleod Bethune. General King served as a member of the Board of Directors of several organizations including, Member, Austin Regional Advisory Board, Texas Commerce Bank; Austin Chapter of National Conference of Christians and Jews; former Chair of the Lone Star District, the Capitol Area Council, Boy Scouts of America. He was a former Director and Secretary of The Foundation for Insurance Regulatory Studies in Texas, a former Chairman of the Austin Civil Service Commission, former Trustee of Austin, College, former Trustee of Fisk University, and former member of the Philosophical Society of Texas. He is listed in Who's Who in America, Leaders in American Science, Leaders in Education and eight other biographical publications. He is also a former Commissioner of the Texas Funeral Service Commission. What a remarkable life he led. He meant so much to so many and will be truly missed by us all. He was preceded in death by his parents, beloved wife Marcet Hines King; and sister Edwina King Murphy. HIS LEGACY The life of this great man will never be forgotten and will be forever cherished by his children, John Q. Taylor King, Jr., M.D. and Sylvia B. King; Clinton A. King, M.D. and Susan R. King, Esq.; Marjon King Christopher and Col. Charles A. Christopher, M.D.; Stuart H. King and Janice H. King; Meagan A. Kirk; grandchildren Nikkole W. Campbell; RosCet King Varner and Cal E. Varner, Jr.; Charles A. Christopher, II; Marlo F. King; Marjon R. King; Caryn A. Christopher; Claudia King; John Q. Taylor King, III; Brandon B. King; Kysha Dorsey and Deserri Dorsey; Melissa Christopher Thomas and Seward Thomas, Sr.; great grandchildren, Cory Campbell, Malik Campbell, Cydney M. Varner, Cal E. Varner, III, Clinton A. K. Varner; Jamie Arnold, Jr.; Orlando Chayce Pannell, Sysali Dwight, Isiah Dwight, III, and Samuel Dorsey; Anaijah Thomas and Seward Thomas, Jr.; his beloved sister-in-law Muriel D. Hegwood; nieces and nephew, Marcet Rhynes, Karen H. Starks, John E. Murphy; special daughters, Mrs. Gloria H. Black, Ms. Pamela Shavers King, Mrs. Patricia L. Purnell, Mrs. Margery "Tillie" Mackey and her husband Dr. A. L. Mackey; special sons, Barry J. W. Franklin, Charles H. Dubra II, and Dr. Reginald Christopher; grandnieces and nephews; King-Tears Staff, Huston-Tillotson Administration, Faculty, Staff, Alumni and Former Students; and his cherished brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Memorial contributions may be directed to Huston-Tillotson University; 900 Chicon Street; Austin, Texas, 78702; Attn: Institutional Advancement for The John Q. Taylor King Endowed Professorship in Mathematics and/or The Marcet Hines King Endowed Professorship in Music or to Wesley United Methodist Church.