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Richard E. "Dick" King

August 5, 1929 ~ October 27, 2021 (age 92)


Dick (Richard Ernest) King of Midland, was the son of the late Earnest and Iona May King, born in Jackson, Michigan August 5, 1929. Dick grew up in Jackson at 1804 Leroy Street where his father and mother also had a successful automotive repair business. His brothers were Ray (Pat), Robert and his sister Lorraine (Norman) Campbell. He married Lucille H. Wright July 22, 1950 at Haven Methodist Church in Jackson.  Their two children – Nyann Sue and Scott Richard M.D. grew up in Ackerson Lake, Jackson, and Midland, Michigan. Nyann passed in 1999. Her three sons are achievers – Mathew Forster JD, Ryan Forster PhD and Neil Forster MD. Adam G. Swanson BA, MA is Scott's (Roma) stepson and a full-time professional pianist having performed at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center.  Four great grandchildren are Cora, Ben, Claire and McKenna whom Dick was able to view her recent jiu jitsu tournament video while in the hospital.

Dick grew up learning skills in his father's automotive repair business with his father being highly respected in his field and his mother managing the books. They never had to advertise but yet had plenty of work through the depression and WW II. He enjoyed camping with his family and fishing at their cottage. Dick learned his work ethic and the importance of honesty and helping others from his parents. He valued his experience as a paperboy and loved animals having had pet pigeons as a child and wonderful dogs and cats as an adult.

Dick graduated from Jackson High School in 1947. He worked on a dairy farm when first married and remarked many times that “the cows never took a day off”. He then worked at Goodyear in Jackson as a tire press operator but health issues plus 2 small children motivated him to enter college – first part time and later full time - graduating from Tri State University in 1959 -degree in Mechanical Engineering. The college admissions advisor discouraged him from attending – but he told her that he had to succeed as he had two small children. His small children remembered him studying by candlelight during an ice storm.

Dick then returned to Jackson at the Goodyear plant as a mechanical engineer and was instrumental in readying the plant for their 25th anniversary celebration.  He valued being “hands on” in his work and not just sitting in his office. He always enjoyed learning and building. He was always looking for opportunities to help.  After 15 years at Goodyear, he moved his family to Midland, Michigan to work for the Dow Chemical Company. He was motivated to always learn and promote safety and excellence. With his son-in-law's help, he started at the beginning learning computers and developed his own computer program to calculate the safety requirements for pressure vessels used at the local Midland plant.  Dow also sent him around the country with largest international project in Houston, Texas.

Dick served one year as president of one of the local chapters of the Kiwanis Club and also served as assistant Scoutmaster for a Boy Scout troop that they supported. He volunteered his time to help his children and grandchildren with school projects, cub scout leader, church activities at the Methodist Church in Napoleon, Michigan and Midland, Michigan, Salvation Army and Goodwill.  He was never bashful standing up and supporting those who worked for him or speaking up if he felt a wrong had been committed.

Dick loved his family. He and his wife Lucille made many sacrifices for their children, taught them the importance of honesty and doing their very best. He and Lucille traveled around Michigan many times to help their daughter with her jewelry business as well as many projects in their home. They participated in their Church MYF program in Jackson where he was often the first choice for a teammate playing softball as he was very athletic and was affectionately called “Mr. Green Jeans” by the children on their outings as he was both tall, friendly and supportive.  He loved his grandchildren – taking an active interest in their lives. He took lessons at age 65 so that he could play tennis with his grandchildren and was involved with many of their projects including Eagle Scout projects.  When his 3 grandsons were playing in tennis tournaments in 3 different locations, he and Lucille would help drive one of the boys – sometimes as far away as Cincinnati.

Dick and Lucille would work together on many of their homes with Dick performing electrical, plumbing and carpentry and Lucille the painting and staining. After retiring from Dow Chemical in 1991, he was always busy remodeling and updating rental homes – having designed their current Midland residence, helping his son and grandchildren and using his father's tools to restore his own John Deere Tractor while a member of the local tractor club.

Dick was thankful to have a wonderful life partner who helped him until his passing. He will be greatly missed.

Services later at Mt. Evergreen, Jackson, MI. Arrangements are under the care of Wilson MILLER Funeral Home 4210 N. Saginaw Rd Midland, Michigan.

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