Donald King

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April 30, 2011

Donald H. King, 88, Cole's Creek Road, Benton, Pa., died Saturday, April 30, 2011, at the Bonham Nursing Center, Stillwater, Pa., under the care of the Columbia Montour Home Hospice, after a lengthy illness. Born on October 10, 1922, in Lake Township, he was a son of the late George Wayne and E. Mae (Ruggles) King. Donald was a 1940 graduate of the former Lake Township High School, and in 1950 received his BS degree from Bloomsburg State Teachers College. He resided in Dallas for a number of years before moving to Sugarloaf Township, Pa., in 1975. Don was employed as an underwriter for the Bendix Corp., Tunkhannock, Pa., for 20 years before becoming a self-employed contractor in 1975, retiring in 1988. He then served as Benton Borough secretary for four years, retiring again in 1992. He served as an auditor in both Lake and Sugarloaf Townships. He also served on the Columbia County Planning Commission for 15 years. He was a member of the Benton Christian Church, Oriental Lodge 460, F & AM, and the former Benton Lodge 667 F & AM, for over 25 years, and also the Northern Columbia Community Cultural Center, and a charter member of the Benton Rodeo Association, serving as secretary for many years. Don was a charter member of the Benton Lions Club, and was its first president, also serving as secretary for many years, on various committees, and as a District Officer. He was also rewarded the Melvin Jones Fellow Award by Lions International in recognition of his tireless work and dedication to Lions. Don served in the U.S. Army during World War II, and was a member of the American Legion, Wilkes-Barre. After designing, excavating, and building a new "branch" of Cole's Mill Road to detour traffic away from his home, and donating his efforts to Sugarloaf Township, he became a local folk celebrity by being interviewed by the Associated Press, CNN, and newspapers as far away as England's London Daily News. Don was preceded in death by a son, Alan B. King, in 1977; and two brothers, John W. King, and Roy H. King. He is survived by his loving wife, the former Barbara R. McNinch, with whom he celebrated his 35th wedding anniversary on June 14, 2010; two sons, Donald L. King, and his wife, Pat, Harveys Lake, and Kenneth M. King, and his wife, Melissa, Haltom City, Texas; three step-daughters, Susan E. "Soozie" Hummel, Port Orchard, Wash., Kay Hummel Wright, Lancaster, Pa., and Kathy Hummel, at home. "Grandpa Don" was a title he wore proudly, being a grandpa to his three grandchildren, seven step-grandchildren, one great-grandson, and nine step-great-grandchildren. He was adored by all of them and never spoke a harsh word to any of them. He is also survived by a sister, Dorothy Wadas, Shavertown; and three brothers, Richard E. King, Harding, Lyle K. King, Dallas, and E. Theodore King, and his wife, Lorraine, Centermoreland, Pa. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday in the Benton Christian Church, Third and Church Streets, Benton, with his pastor, the Rev. Dr. David Mansfield, officiating. The family will receive friends from 10 to 11 a.m. Military honors will be provided by the combined VFW group. The family will provide flowers. Memorials may be sent to either the Columbia Montour Home Hospice, 410 Glenn Ave., Bloomsburg, PA 17815, or to the Benton Lions Club, P.O. Box 193, Benton, PA 17814. Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of the Dean W. Kriner Inc., Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Benton, Pa. To sign the guest book or to send a message of condolence, please go to .

Published in Times Leader on May 3, 2011
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