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Leon King, 82, died peacefully on Tuesday the 30th of October 2012 at his residence in Westlake Village, California.
Born on February the 22nd of 1930 in Isleton, California, to Floyd and Ann King, Leon was always dedicated to education and grounded in religious faith. After graduating in 1948 from C.K. McClatchy High School in Sacramento, he began his higher education at Stanford University where he obtained a B.A. Degree and played in the 1952 Rose Bowl, which was the first nationally televised college football game. He then attended San Francisco Theological Seminary, graduating in 1954 with a Bachelor of Divinity Degree. He pursued advanced studies at the World Council of Churches in Geneva, Switzerland, and at the American School of Oriental Research in Jerusalem where he was part of an archaeological expedition that discovered the gates to the city of Byblos. In 1956 he began his ministry as the Youth Minister at Bidwell Memorial Presbyterian Church in Chico, California, where he was ordained by the Sacramento Presbytery. While there he met his beloved wife, Ida Marie Enloe. He was then called to minister at St. Stephen's Presbyterian Church in North Highlands, California. During that ministry he was sent by his session to join the 'Selma to Montgomery March led by Martin Luther King Jr. In 1966 he returned to the San Francisco Theological Seminary where he received a Masters in Theology. His studies continued in 1968 at the University of Southern California in a Doctoral Program for College Administration. He then joined California State University, Northridge as Director of Financial Aid where he continued his ministry by working to help students to pursue their education through the war on poverty regardless of financial ability. He retired in 1994. During his retirement, Leon enjoyed his life at home with wife Ida, and enjoyed his hobbies as well as visiting family and friends.
He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Ida, and his two sons, Aaron and Brian. Brother to Dorcys Burchell of Walnut Grove; preceded in death by sister Louise Comontofski and his twin sister Veon Woodfin. Survived by grandchildren Stephanie and Monica, as well as an unborn granddaughter, whom Brian and his wife Beth are expecting in November 2012, and a large extended family.
A Celebration of Leon's life will be held on Saturday, January 12th at 11am at the Walnut Grove Community Presbyterian Church in Walnut Grove, California. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory can be made to P.A.T.H. (People Assisting the Homeless), 340 N. Madison Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90004 or www.epath.org.
Published in The Sacramento Bee on November 18, 2012