Elizabeth M. King, writer, teacher, devoted wife, mother, grandmother and long time resident of Green Mountain Falls, Colorado, died on September 17, 2013 following a brief illness. She was 82 years old.
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Known for her inspirational writing, she was a major contributor to Daily Guideposts devotionals for over thirty years, author of seven books, including Autumn Years: Taking the Contemplative Path, which she co-authored with her husband Robert H. King. Her most recent work was a collection of her poetry entitled On Wings Of Words: A Memoir in Story and Verse with illustrations by her daughter Karen Helleberg.
Elizabeth, who was also known as Marilyn, was born in McCook, Nebraska on November 1, 1930. Her father Donal H. Morgan was a family physician and her mother Helen taught school for a time. Both parents greatly valued education. Growing up in McCook, she excelled in school and in theatre. She graduated from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln with a degree in Speech Pathology and later earned a Masters degree in English from the University of Nebraska in Kearney. She began her work as a speech therapist in Kearney and later taught in the English Department at the university.
She was married for 35 years to Rex Helleberg. They divorced in 1989. She married Robert King in 1999 after moving to Colorado. She has three children: Karen, Paul, and John Helleberg, twelve grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren.
Her many friends, including the members of Springs Mountain Sangha, her spiritual community in Colorado Springs, know her as an extremely warm, open-hearted, caring person with deep soulful eyes and generous nature. A poem from her recent collection entitled "Snowflake" captures her sense for the fleeting beauty of life.
Some twenty thousand feet it fell,
this shimmer of
every instant, every inch
by winter-fickle winds, till
tenders and fern-fingered, it
my rough black glove and there,
In less than the length of breath
surrendered its essence.
Now a cold thought holds me.
A single crystal in some twenty thousand
centuries of humankind
my own life
A poem may be a clumsy camera
but I focus it with hope,
knowing it holds my only chance
to capture now mid-melt.
She inspired many lives and will be dearly missed.
A memorial service will be held at Shove Chapel on the campus of Colorado College, 1010 N. Nevada Ave., Colorado Springs, at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, September 25.
Donations in her honor may be sent to Unicef or Learning Ally or made online via their websites.
Published in The Gazette from Sept. 22 to Sept. 23, 2013