William Dabney King

January 10, 1923January 28, 2012

William Dabney King, 89, of Athens passed away Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012. A native of Colbert, Ga., Mr. King was the son of the late Henry Grady King and Lillie Estelle King. A graduate of Colbert High School, Athens Business College and the American Institute of Banking, “Bill” King’s life was changed forever – and, he always said, for the better – when after briefly working for the Madison County Board of Education he entered the U.S. Army in World War II, serving in the Transportation Corps in Europe. Stationed in the town of Abergavenny, Wales, in the run up to D-Day, he met and became engaged to a Welsh girl, Mary Elizabeth Primrose Parry, known as Mollie. His permission to marry was signed by Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower. But before they could get married the invasion of France was under way and he ended up stationed in Paris. Thus was launched one of the great adventures of Mr. King’s life. Wanting to get married in the fall of 1944 and with furloughs not available, he volunteered for courier duty and flew over the English Channel with a briefcase handcuffed to his wrist to deliver it to London. Once there, he obtained verbal permission from a captain to travel by train to Wales and get married, but the officer warned him, “If you get picked up by MPs, your papers say London, so you’ll be considered AWOL and I never heard of you.” Nonetheless, Mr. King made it to Wales, the wedding took place and by that evening he was back in London and then headed back to Paris. After the war, the couple settled in Athens, Ga., where Mr. King began work for C&S National Bank on June 1, 1946. During his 37 years with C&S, he worked in operations, was manager of the Installment Loan Department, pioneered bank charge cards in Athens as manager of the C&S Charge Account Service, was longtime manager of the Prince Avenue branch, was a banking officer and wound up his career as manager of sales finance operations and was named an assistant vice president of the bank before his retirement in 1983. On his retirement, Mr. King was feted by the local car dealers he’d worked with at a party thrown by the bank. Golf was a major passion of Mr. King’s, and he was for many years a member of the Athens Country Club. When anticipating possible retirement, he told one of his sons that he didn’t know whether he could “play golf five days a week,” but he did indeed do that for 20 years. But in retirement Mr. King also kept busy running the Optimist International Junior Golf Tournament for Evening Optimist Club of Athens. Mr. King served as president of the club and for many years was its finance chairman. He was named Optimist of the Year and was granted a Life Membership in Optimist International. Mr. King was always heavily involved in the civic life of Athens, serving as president of the Athens Jaycees and the Downtown Athens Merchants Council and on the board of the local branch of the American Heart Association. He was a longtime member of the First Baptist Church of Athens, where he had served as chairman of the Sunday School department. Mr. King was also a lifetime supporter of the Georgia Bulldogs, with one of the most notable highlights of his fandom coming in the national championship season of 1942 when Mr. King attended a major game without a ticket and an assistant coach took pity on him and gave him a sideline pass as a “high school prospect.” Mr. King eventually sent all three of his sons to the University of Georgia. After 64 years of marriage, Mr. King’s wife Mollie, a longtime columnist for The Athens Observer, died in November 2008. Mr. King was also preceded in death by a brother, Joe Neal King of Columbus. Survivors include a brother, Larry Wayne King of Lexington, Ga., and wife Sheila Tiller King; three sons, William Parry King and wife Leslie Thornton King of Decatur, Ga., Jonathan Parry King and wife Lisa Young King of Watkinsville, Ga., and Timothy Parry King of Snellville, Ga.; five grandchildren, Jennifer King Rudd and husband John Rudd of Statham, Ga., Melissa King of Watkinsville, Ga., Caroline King of Athens, Ga., William King of Washington, D.C., and Olivia King of Decatur, Ga.; and one great grandson, Gabriel Rudd of Statham. Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1, at the First Baptist Church of Athens with Dr. Jon Appleton officiating. The family will receive friends at Bernstein Funeral Home from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31. Online condolences may be made at Bernstein Funeral Home and Cremation Service is in charge of arrangements.


  • Visitation Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  • Funeral Service Wednesday, February 1, 2012

William Dabney King

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Sharon King

February 1, 2012

My deepest sympathies to all of the family! I still have so many memories of our visits with Uncle Bill and Aunt Mollie when we were kids. Though there were not many, they were always very good. He was always good to us.Rest in Peace, Uncle Bill. Your neice, Sharon

James and Shirley Young

February 1, 2012

Jonathan, Bill, and Timothy: We will always treasure our memories of your Dad. He was a true Southern gentleman - so friendly, and kind to everyone.
We loved his sense of humor and admired his devotion to his family.
It is admirable that he loved his God, his church, and the hymns that spoke of Jesus Christ and eternity. He was indeed a great man, a great father.

January 31, 2012

The deepest condolences go out to you Bill and all your family. Your father was a great man and a tremendous person of all the Georgia people. We are praying for all of you. May God Bless you Bill and all the King Family. Frank White, Setsuko White and Family.

Jane Dooley

January 31, 2012

I will miss seeing Mr. Bill at Mulberry!
What a Delightful man he was.

January 31, 2012

Carlton and I would like to express our sorrow in the passing of your dad. What a gentle and kind man he was! I have heard my dad so many times express how much be both liked and admired your dad from working with him at C&S & serving with him at First Baptist & being a wonderful neighbor. He reflects fondly on the memories from the various parties and gatherings where he would tease your mom "just to get her going", as he says, & watch your dad smile and wink while smoking his pipe. I know that he set a fine example for all the King boys to pass down for generations to come. Carlton talks about the many times that you all spent together growing up & what fine people both your parents were. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
With our deepest sympathies,
Lynda(Harden) and Carlton Powell

American Heart Association

January 31, 2012

May your memories of the wonderful times you shared with your loved one comfort you and your family, today and always.

Kris King

January 31, 2012

What a wonderful life this man lived. I learned alot that I never knew about a great uncle. I lift up prayers for your family. I am sure my papa and nanny are glad he is home with them in heaven. God bless.

Kris King (Joe King's grandson)

Dan Pelletier

January 31, 2012

My deepest sympathies to Bill, Jonathan and Timothy. I spent many a pleasant evening at your home watching ball games with Bill and Mr. King. He was always gracious and a pleasure to be around.

JoAnne King-Calsetta

January 30, 2012

Dear Bill, Jonathan, Tim, and Uncle Larry,

We are never ready to say "good-bye" to our loved ones. My heart is with you all and I know that it will take time to accept this major loss in your lives. When you feel sad, be sad! You all are in my thoughts and prayers! I send my love to each of you! Rest in peace, Uncle Bill! Love, JoAnne

Jean Brown Conwell

January 30, 2012

To the King Family, So, so sorry to hear about Mr. King. I worked with him at the bank. I was young and he was like a dad to me. I always enjoyed him and had the utmost respect for him. I have wonderful, fond memories of both him and Mrs. King. May God comfort you at this most difficult time.