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Richard Downing King

1923 - 2013 Obituary Condolences
Richard Downing King Obituary
Richard Downing King November 17, 1923 - July 14, 2013 "Well done good and faithful servant" are the words that fell upon Richard Downing King, as he, surrounded by his loving family, passed peacefully from this earth into the loving embrace of his Savior Jesus Christ, on July 14, 2013 in Bakersfield, CA. Richard, also known as Dick, was born November 17, 1923 in Seward, Nebraska to Barney and Jeanette (Downing) King. Along with his older brother George, older sister Alice, and younger brothers William and Carl, Richard began his education in a quaint one-room country school, arriving by riding a pony or by driving a pony-drawn cart. He graduated from Seward High School and then completed a two-year Machining Program at Milfred Trade School at the University of Nebraska. On June 18, 1943, in the midst of WWII, Richard joined the United States Army Air Corp., the predecessor of the U.S. Air Force. Because of his small but wiry 100 pound frame, he was positioned as the Belly-Gunner in a B-24 Liberator. He flew 35 missions out of Italy over Germany, and was honorably discharged as Staff Sergeant Richard D. King on October 18, 1945. While on leave before being discharged, he married the love of his life, Elaine LaVerne Nelson, also of Seward, and enjoyed 68 beautiful years of marriage. After the war, Richard and Elaine settled into Kingsburg, CA and he began his career as a machinist, during the last 20 years owning and operating his own business, Dick's Machine Shop in Delano, CA. Theirs was a life of commitment, caring, and compassion as they raised three children after losing their first child at the age of 3 days. Richard held great appreciation for the beauty of God's creation and loved boating, camping, and traveling with his family, managing to visit every National Park in the United States. He and Elaine also traveled abroad several times. Upon retirement, they moved to Visalia and then Bakersfield in an effort to be close to and involved with their children, grand, and great-grandchildren. Richard was a devoted husband, father, and papa, consistently keeping Christ in the center of his life and family, always being engaged with a local church, and for his entire life, setting a wonderful example of how to live a Godly, Christ honoring life. Richard was preceded in death by his first child William Ross King, his brother George King, his sister Alice (King) Bingham, and his brother William King who was killed in action in WWII. Richard is survived by his spouse Elaine King of Bakersfield, CA; his son David, (Joyce), King of Clovis, CA, daughters Sheryl, (Greg), Gallion, and Lori, (Don), VanSickel, both of Bakersfield, CA; his grandchildren: Julie, (Brian), Sheufelt and their 3 children of Happy Valley, OR, Amy, (John), Yapp and their 2 children of Fresno, CA, Kris, (Rosie), King and their 3 children of Fresno, CA, Sean, Courtney, Logan, and Kayla VanSickel of Bakersfield, CA; and nieces, nephews, and other relatives. We wish to thank Chito, Luz, and their devoted and loving staff of Whispering Pines Residential Care Facility and Optimal and Hoffman Hospice for their wonderful care for Richard during the last 11 months of this precious man's life. A "Celebration of Life" Memorial Service, led by Pastor Larry Wood, will be held at Valley Baptist Church, 4800 Fruitvale Ave., in the multipurpose room at 10:30 AM on Thursday July 18, 2013, with a reception to follow. Richard will be interned at Bakersfield National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations be made to Valley Baptist Church or to . www.bakersfield.com/obits
Published in Bakersfield Californian on July 17, 2013
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