Longtime Fairbanks resident Charles King Sargent passed away unexpectedly on April 11, 2010, nine days before his 64th birthday, at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, following a short illness. As he took his last mortal breath, he was surrounded by family and friends, including aunt Judith Brady, Brad Johnston, Mary Johnston, Dick Mulholand, David Stewart and Diane, his chiropractic therapist.
King was born April 20, 1946, in Spokane, Wash., the only child of Charles (Chuck) and Betty King Sargent.
King's family moved to Fairbanks when he was a young boy, and King embraced the Alaska culture and outdoors. As a youth, he participated in dog sledding and spent numerous summers visiting his grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins in Idaho, enjoying the many lakes and swimming.
King was an avid and lifelong student of history, especially military history related to the Civil War and World War II. He received a degree in history from the University of Oregon in Eugene. He spent his entire life surrounded by books and enjoyed sharing his love of history. He was able to travel to many historical sites in the United States and other countries, especially in recent retirement years.
With the advent of Internet chat rooms, he found like-minded military history aficionados throughout the world, and he visited them in his travels.
He became a tank enthusiast and developed a "tanker family." He had an incredible ability to accurately recall historical facts.
King began a career in public safety in 1970 when he was hired as a campus security officer at the University of Alaska in College (now known as UAF). In 1974, he took a job as security officer with Fluor and worked at the Prudhoe Bay Camp. During the 1970s, he also was a volunteer riding along with Fairbanks police officers on their evening patrols. In 1981, he became a corrections officer and worked for the next 18 years at Fairbanks Correctional Facility until his retirement in 1999. During his employment at FCC, he was promoted to Sgt. Sargent. However, when the number of authorized sergeant positions was reduced at the jail, King volunteered to take up his former position again so that another more junior sergeant with a young family to support would not lose his job.
Friends of King were friends for life. He had a quick wit and always had a joke to tell. He was surprisingly gentle and caring in spite of his often gruff exterior. However, he did not suffer fools or foolish rules.
King is survived by his aunts, Judy Brady, of Anchorage and Mary Lou Johnson, of Renton, Wash.; his daughter, Sherri Lynn Payton; many close friends; and numerous cousins, and was particularly close to the family of his late uncle, Pat King and his wife, Dorothy, of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
No service is planned at this time.
A potlatch will be announced at a later date.
Stories about King may be mailed to Kim and Dave Stewart, P.O. Box 74925, Fairbanks, AK 99707 or posted at http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/newsminer/
in the online guest book.