Maurice Haden King

NEWPORT NEWS - Maurice Haden King, 93, Newport News native, WW II veteran, entrepreneur, philanthropist, world traveler, sports enthusiast, statesman of the Church, and devout husband and father, went to Heaven on December 23, 2013. He was the son of Maurice Wilton King and Madie Ann Haden of Fluvanna County. Haden was married to his great love, Grace Elizabeth Keeter, for almost 70 years. He leaves a daughter, Betty Anne King, Annandale, VA, M.H. King, Jr., Raleigh, NC, and Stephen Bartley King, Smithfield, VA. Grandchildren include Virginia E. King, M.H. King, III, Stephen Bartley King, Jr., Miranda E. Wilsey, Meredith L. Cook, and four great-grandchildren. Haden graduated from Newport News High School in 1938 and entered the Apprentice School of the N.N. Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co. as a Shipwright, building aircraft carriers. Two weeks after the attack of Pearl Harbor, Haden went to Wilmington, N.C. to build Liberty ships to carry supplies to the Pacific and Europe. He was the youngest supervisor in the shipyard. In June 1944, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was selected to train in radio intelligence-communications. In November 1944, he was sent to the island of Oahu. He worked directly under Admiral Chester W. Nimitz where he excelled in translating the Japanese code, resulting in the location of and sinking/disabling of aircraft carriers, battleships, and destroyers. Haden was a member of the Apprentice Alumni Association, the Criterion Club, and the Pioneer Club. In 2009, Haden visited the WW II Memorial in Washington, D.C. with his daughter as part of the Honor Flight Program for veterans. In 1947, Haden, with his love of music and fascination for jukeboxes, entered into a series of lifelong business ownerships, the Warwick Amusement Company, the American Music Company, and the Newport News Amusement Company, which remains as a family-operated business today. He was a member of MOV (Music Operators of Virginia) and AMOA (Music Operators of America). After his retirement in 1980, he repaired antique Seeburg jukeboxes, vintage 40's, 50's, and 60's, for 30 years. Ironically, there is now a growing trend towards the rebirth of pinball machines. Haden, a humble man, was a member of First Baptist Church for 82 years. He was a Life Deacon, Sunday School teacher, Assistant Treasurer, and Trustee Emeritus. He served the church with his gift of building knowledge, being the Chairman of several Building Committees. His sister, Ora Lee King Britt, was secretary for 44 years. In 2010, Haden was given a Lifelong Citizenship Award in a ceremony conducted by the Mayor for citizens over the age of 90 who have made many contributions to improve the lives of citizens of Newport News. Haden loved sports from an early age, basketball, football, baseball, car racing and water sports. He was a member of the Peninsula Sports Club, Newport News Post 25, and Warwick Post 255, where his son was Coach for seven years. He loved boating with his family on the James River and York River, where they spent many summers. He loved fishing with his father-in-law, Benjamin J. Keeter. He coached basketball for 10 years for First Baptist Church. He always supported his children and grandchildren in their sports endeavors. Haden also built several of his homes and others with Mr. Keeter. Periodically, he invested in commercial real estate. The family will receive friends Friday, January 3, 2013, at Peninsula Funeral Home from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. A Celebration of Life will be conducted at First Baptist Church, 12716 Warwick Boulevard, on Saturday, January 4, at 11 a.m., by The Rev. Dennis Adams. Interment will follow at Peninsula Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any contributions may be made to the First Baptist Church Building Fund.

Funeral Home

Peninsula Funeral Home
11144 Warwick Boulevard Newport News, VA 23601
(757) 595-4424

Published in Daily Press on Jan. 1, 2014