LON AVERETT KING

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LON AVERETT KING - SOUTH BURLINGTON - Lon Averett King, 91, died on Monday, March 25, 2013, at home in South Burlington, with his daughters, Nancy and Mary, at his side. Lon was born in Madill, Okla., on Sept. 7, 1921. After high school, Lon attended University of California at Berkeley until 1942, when he enlisted in the Army Air Force following the attack on Pearl Harbor. On Feb. 3, 1942, he married Gloria Florence Peterson ('Pete'), the love of his life. Lon and Pete went on their first date to the movies when they were in junior high school, and they were inseparable from then on. Pete accompanied Lon while he completed his World War II pilot training. Lon flew P-38s during the war, flying most of his missions over Italy. He received the Air Medal, awarded for 'meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight.' He fondly remembered weekend passes spent in Switzerland and enjoyed taking his family to some of his favorite Swiss cities during a trip in 1970. After the war, and until his retirement in 1983, Lon worked for Peters, Griffin & Woodward, a company that represented first radio then television stations, and sold 'time' on the air to advertisers. He started as a sales rep and became Vice President for Creative Services. Lon and Pete lived in San Francisco and Birmingham, Mich., before Lon was transferred to New York City in 1955. They raised their two daughters in Hartsdale, N.Y., and retired to Skidaway Island off Savannah in 1989 before moving to Vermont in 2001. Everywhere they lived, they made many friends and kept in touch with those friends for years. Lon was a lifelong musician, playing the trumpet as a youth, as well as learning to play the piano and later the organ, and singing in church choirs. He played the piano 'by ear,' as well as reading music, and he could play almost anything if you hummed the tune! He loved to entertain children with little practical jokes on the piano. After retiring he sang in barbershop choruses in New York and Savannah. He also loved to play golf and travel. Lon and Pete had frequent dinner parties with tables of bridge afterwards (and often a 'sing-a-long' at the piano). Lon and Pete celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary and 90th birthdays with a surprise party including family and friends. His love for Pete and his family, and his thoughtfulness, generosity and wit will endure through the example he showed to his daughters, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and friends. Lon was predeceased by his beloved wife, Pete, in September 2012. He is survived by daughters, Mary Longey and Nancy de Tarnowsky; and son-in-law, Nick de Tarnowsky; grandchildren, Kim McCarthy, Becky Coltey, Jen Jacobs and her husband, Scott Jacobs, and Kyle de Tarnowsky; great-grandchildren, Kiara, Lizzy and Maya; and numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews, great-grandnieces and great-grandnephews, cousins, and friends, old and new. The family is eternally grateful to the staff of Allenwood for the patience, tenderness, care and love they have shown to both Lon and Pete over the years. The family also wishes to thank the staff of HomeInstead, VNA Hospice, Dr. Cynthia Haselton, Jeri Wohlberg, and Burlington Primary Care for their support, care and guidance. There will be a private remembrance at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations in Lon's memory may be made to the Visiting Nurse Association of Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties, 1110 Prim Rd., Colchester, VT 05446 (online at www.vnacares.org).

Published in The Burlington Free Press on Mar. 27, 2013
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