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Jack W. King died Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, peacefully at his home in
Forest Hill. He was born June 15, 1937, the third of five children of
Vaudie King and Ruby King. He was the older brother of John, his twin, and
his sister Bettie Desha. and was the younger brother of Margaret King
North, now deceased, and Bobbie King, who died in infancy. He was the
stepson of Bill King. He was the husband of Ruth Thompson King, whom he
married August 15, 1964. He was the daddy of Susie Clark, the poppa of
Codi Clark, and the father-in-law of Jerry Clark. He was the beloved
son-in-law of the late Scott and Mayola Thompson.
Jack was a social worker, a retired child welfare administrator for the
state of Texas, and he was also a plumber. He liked both professions very
much and would often go as far as he could go to help those who needed him
in both lines of work. He was a social worker through and through, even
serving in a bureaucracy. The bureaucracy had never seen anyone like him,
and it was better for his service and perseverance.
Jack grew up in Paris and Dallas, overcoming incredible adversity and many
challenges along with his siblings. He attended elementary school in Paris
until the fourth grade. His favorite teacher was Miss Pauline Fodge.
Later, he and his brother John would move to Reynolds Presbyterian
Children's Home in Dallas, where they lived for nine years. While there,
they attended Vickery Elementary School and Hillcrest High School, where
Jack was a track star. He carried that expertise to Paris High School,
where he won District on his very first try.
He moved back to Dallas, where he graduated from Crozier Tech High School,
working many jobs to support himself. He wanted to be a supervisor, but
only college graduates could apply. So he moved back to attend Paris
Junior College and then East Texas State University, earning an
associate's degree and then a bachelor's degree in less than three years,
while working full-time. He went to work for what is now the Texas
Department of Human Resources before being selected to participate in a
new program to earn his Master of Social Work at the University of
Missouri - Kansas City. He went back to work for the state of Texas, setting up child welfare
boards in 23 counties. As Special Projects Director, he set up children's
summer meal programs and established a Court Appointed Special Advocates
(CASA) program locally. He founded a program called CHANCE, Citizens
Helping Abused and Neglected Children Effectively, in Lamar County. His
own life experience informed his decisions and gave his work an added
sense of purpose. Jack's world centered around Texas Longhorns football, Paris High School
band, football and softball, his work in the YWCA softball program, his
community, his family, the many animals he rescued, his a-ha moments, and
his beloved Forest Hill United Methodist Church. Jack was a Democrat all
the way. He and his mentor, Kathleen Wright, spent many hours discussing
the good points of their party. In addition to his wife and daughter and their family, Jack is survived by
his brother John and his wife Patsy; his sister Bettie and her husband
Danny Desha; many loving nieces and nephews who love to call him Uncle
Jack; his special friends Jim and Doris Parsons; Ruth's relatives who
became his own; and by many friends from all walks of life.
His funeral will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Forest Hill United Methodist
Church with arrangements by Bright Holland Funeral Home. Burial will
follow at Forest Hill Cemetery. The family welcomes friends at their home;
there will not be a visitation at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorials to honor his memory and his extraordinary "I can do it" life may be made to Forest Hill United Methodist Church, in
care of Richard Gadberry, church superintendent, 14859 FM 38 N., Honey Grove,
Texas, 75446; or the Forest Hill Cemetery Association, in care of Vickie
Foster, 2511 County Road 36120, Honey Grove, Texas, 75446.