John Kings
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Family-Placed Obituary

(1923 - 2003) John Kings, age 80, of Austin, Texas, passed away December 2, 2003. John was born and educated in London, England, and attended St. Paul's School for boys. He was a quintessential Englishman whose colorful and adventurous life led him down many paths. A lasting impression was made on anyone fortunate enough to travel any of these paths with John. In John's own published words, ``scarcely a day passes without some facet returning to mind, a sure indication of the intensity of the experience, for it has to compete with recollections of other vivid and absorbing periods of my life.' Just a few of John's many life experiences include: A Lieutenant---serving in the Royal Navy during World War II in motor torpedo boats and awarded the distinguished cross for achievement in the English Channel and North Sea. An editor-working for various publishing houses in New York and London, to include Reader's Digest. A cattle rancher-ranching for eight years among the grandeur of Wyoming's Big Horn mountains and serving as a Representative on the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington D.C. An artist--both with brush and camera which gained him one-man exhibitions in New York and San Francisco and the publication of several photographic books. A writer--whose several published books reflect his gift of the written word. A Literary Associate-working for James A. Michener for over twenty years as coordinator and confidant. A visionary--who helped create the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin. A doting and loving husband and father--who took more pride in his family than any of his other remarkable achievements. John is survived by his wife, Shirley Kings of Austin; three daughters, Jamie Kings of Austin, Tarka Kings Ogilvy of London, Louise Kings Olson of Brisbane; two sisters, Margaret Motsinger and Rosemary Ripley of North Carolina; and five grandchildren. John Kings enriched the lives of everyone he met and will be greatly missed. John lived his life to the fullest and using his own ending to one of his prefaces, ``We did have a lot of fun along the way.' A service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Monday, December 8, 2003, at Weed Corley-Fish Funeral Home at 3125 North Lamar in Austin. In lieu of flowers, the family request donations be made to your favorite charity. Arrangements by Weed-Corley- Fish Funeral Home - (512) 452-8811 You may view memorials online at

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Published in Austin American-Statesman on Dec. 4, 2003.
Memories & Condolences
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3 entries
December 9, 2003

I am overwhelmed with gratitude for Mr. Kings. He launched my career as a sculptor, and redefined my life - seemingly overnight.

Although Mr. Kings always downplayed his role, he arranged for me to get the recognition he felt I deserved as an artist, and it changed my life forever.

I hope he knew how much he meant to me, because I will always love and remember him for his generosity and guidance. He was my hero.
Beth Schoen
December 4, 2003
John was a dear friend of UT Libraries where he officed in PCL for a few years. We will miss him very much.
Kay Sewell
December 4, 2003
What a life—and what a character! It was a pleasure to have worked with him for 4 years.
Barbara Stooksberry
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