Faithful to Her Favorites
During baseball season, Lucille T. King always bet against the man she loved and put her money on the team she cherished. She took her beloved Yankees; her husband, Richard, went with whatever team was playing the role of hated opponent. The wager was always the same: 25 cents.
More often than not she won.
Mrs. King knew what she liked, and she stuck with it. She and Richie lived in the same apartment in Ridgewood, Queens, for the entire 31 years they were married. Every Sunday morning at 8 she drove to Lower Manhattan to see her parents and spend the day cooking. Every year she and Richie went to the same place for vacation, Wolff's Maple Breeze Resort in the Catskills.
You could call it habit, but mostly it was a stubborn streak of dependability that guided Mrs. King, who was 59. She always took care of someone else, whether it was her husband, her parents, her nephews and nieces or the executives she worked for as a secretary at Aon Corporation.
"Lu always made you feel that she knew the things that really were important to you," said James Siegler, who worked with Mrs. King for four years. After he left for another company he continued to do business with Mrs. King on the phone. He said she always asked about his family and said, "Kiss the baby for me."
Mrs. King was only 5 feet tall and she weighed no more than 100 pounds, but her niece, Kathleen Murray, said she was "a spitfire," filled with energy that she often devoted to others. When Ms. Murray was ill for a month last August, her aunt called at 3 p.m. every day to see how she was.
"The call might only last a few seconds, but she would call every single day," Miss Murray said. "It'd be 3 o'clock and I just knew it was Aunt Lu."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on July 28, 2002.