Toby Richard Wyatt King, 65, a multi-lingual association executive who worked in fields as disparate as commerce, natural resources, and musculoskeletal health, died December 29, 2020 in Chicago following a long battle with cancer.
Mr. King was the beloved husband of Judy Hevrdejs-King, the loving father of Olivier, Adele and Magali King, and the adored grandfather of Jacob and Alexia. He is the cherished stepson of Deirdre McSharry, dear brother Matthew King (Debbie), and the much-loved brother-in-law of Thomas Hevrdejs (Jill). He is also survived by nieces Isabella Wagley (Harris), Clementine King (Sam), Anna and Elena Hevrdejs and nephew Rupert King, as well as sisters-in-law Susan Hevrdejs and Alison Hevrdejs, stepsister Emma Beck (Mike) and stepbrother Tim Carroll. His sister Polly, niece Louisa Caroline and stepmother Cherry predeceased him. The support he provided to his extended family is a much-cherished memory.
Toby was born August 3, 1955 to the late Peter James Wyatt King and Grace Margaret King in Bristol, England. He grew up on the Isle of Wight, Wiltshire and Oxfordshire, England, and studied at Stowe School near Buckingham, but soon took his energies to professional associations around the world.
In August 2002, Toby became the first executive director of the U.S. Bone and Joint Initiative (then called the U.S. Bone and Joint Decade), an international collaborative movement created to raise the priority of the musculoskeletal health among researchers, educators, clinical practitioners and patients. "Through his tireless efforts, the USBJD/I was able to launch and maintain programs that benefited a broad array of stakeholders," said Dr. Joshua J. Jacobs, chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Rush Medical at Chicago.
A certified association executive and graduate of the IPADE (Pan American Institute for High Business Management) at the Pan American University in Mexico City, his career began as a trainee at the British Chamber of Commerce in Mexico, where he rose to the position of General Manager. Subsequently, he became General Manager of the British-American Chamber of Commerce in Miami, Fla. He later headed north to Canada where he joined the Montreal Board of Trade, then the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum.
He was living in Mexico City at the time of the 1985 earthquake and was also organizing a conference at the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai, India during the 2008 terrorist attack. He made little of the help he provided to others in these events, treating them in the manner advocated by Rudyard Kipling's "If-" ("If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster, And treat those two imposters just the same….").
Because of the current restrictions on social gatherings, Mr. King's life will be celebrated later in Chicago, Quebec and England. Memorial donations may be made to the USBJI at www.usbji.org
Published by Chicago Tribune on Jan. 5, 2021.