Ivan John KING

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KING, Ivan Johnborn February 4, 1924 died March 4, 2013 surrounded by loved ones in Scottsdale, Arizona; his smile and whistle will be missed by many. He suffered from Alzheimer's/Dementia for several years; even with the debilitating disease his sense of humor and great personality shined through. Ivan is survived by his five children: Susan, Diane, John, Cindy, & Roger; 5 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren & 1 great great grandchild. Ivan was born and raised in Detroit Michigan. He attended Detroit's prestigious Cass Tech High School but when WWII started he entered the Army Air Corps as a Cadet skipping his graduation. Ivan did so well in flight school the Army assigned him as an instructor pilot; a role he fulfilled well but found frustrating, as he wanted to participate more-directly in the war. He married Dorothy Smith, the sister of one of his high-school YMCA basketball teammates. Ivan finally signed on as a navigator for the first B-29 squadron headed to Europe but a medical issue kept him stateside; the war ended soon after. Dorothy and Ivan moved to California and bought their first home using the GI Bill. Ivan worked in a Firestone Tire plant while attending Whittier College also on the GI Bill graduating in 1952; he continued working at the Firestone plant while playing semi-pro football. When the Korean Conflict began Ivan joined the United States Air Force and the family went to Tucson, Arizona. Ivan went from Tucson to Greenland, and then returned to their home in California. The family went to Germany where Ivan flew C-47's Gooney-Birds. After Germany came New Mexico where Ivan flew B-47's, drew attack maps, and worked in the Civil Engineer squadron. The family then moved to South Dakota where Ivan commanded a Titan I missile silo. Next came Istanbul Turkey where Dorothy left Ivan and moved again to Arizona. Ivan transferred to Williams Field in Mesa to be near his children. He ran the base's Officer's Club and was Executive Officer to first the Base Commander and then the Wing Commander. Always an avid athlete basketball, softball, bowling, etc, Ivan took up golf in earnest and quickly became a low-80's golfer; he golfed until his eyesight failed. After retiring from the Air Force, Ivan married Marion Rolf, retired Army Colonel and nurse; they travelled frequently to visit family, play in golf tournaments, and made annual trips to the college world series in Omaha. Ivan was a study in contrasts. He raised a US flag every morning and retired it appropriately every evening, baked family-favorite IJ-bread, fed birds in his yard, rode his bicycle every morning, and created hand-made rugs that have become family heirlooms. In his 70's Ivan discovered pedicures and had his toenails painted with monthly themes prompting a family calendar of IJ's toes! Music was a big part of Ivan's life; he did not play any instruments or sing, instead he whistled and whistled, and whistled. Family members, friends, and caregivers all remember the lovely sound of Ivan's whistle, a sound we miss and will never hear again. The family plans a private service.Sign the Guest Book ateastvalleytribune.com
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