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Martin Jeffrey "Jeff" King


1939 - 2017 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Martin Jeffrey "Jeff" King Obituary
August 3, 1939 - May 17, 2017 Martin Jeffrey "Jeff" King passed away unexpectedly on May 17 at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, apropos given his everlasting enthusiasm as a loyal Bruin. At 77, he was surrounded by family and friends whom he treated as family. Born in Duluth, Minn., Jeff moved to Los Angeles with his family in 1945 and was a proud Angeleno to the end. Having grown up in the restaurant business founded by his father and uncle, Jeff was a hospitality man to the core. With his cousin Sam King, he helped grow the business to six restaurants before selling it in 1982, then the two cousins co-founded King's Seafood Company a year later. Together, they spurred its success to 20 restaurants across three states, including Water Grill, King's Fish House, 555 East, Lou & Mickey's, Fish Camp, and PierBurger. Jeff also served as chairman of the California Restaurant Association, and his board memberships included the Collins College of Hospitality Management, the L.A. Central City Association and the California Travel & Tourism Commission. In addition, he provided hospitality consulting services with Jeff King Consulting. Possessing an outsized, singular, unmistakable personality that took over any room he entered, Jeff was renowned and adored by family, friends and business associates alike for his candor, humor, energy, and uncanny ability to connect with others. He loved the song "Nature Boy" by Nat King Cole - its concluding lyric "the greatest thing you'll ever learn is to love and be loved in return" could have been his motto. He is survived by his sister Margaret Debbane, his estranged wife Ellen King and ex-wife Joyce Heyraud, both with whom he maintained lovely relationships, along with his three children, Janna, Stephanie and Danny, two stepchildren, Rachel and Taylor, grandchildren, Izzy, Jake, Jackson, Zach and Shilo, and step-grandchildren, Ford, Cole and Amalia. Jeff will be missed by all and remembered forever. Funeral services will be held at Hillside Memorial Park on Monday, May 22, at 11am. Reception to follow at Water Grill Santa Monica. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in support of the Hugs for Ari Team.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on May 21, 2017
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