Jean King

December 17, 1946November 29, 2018

Jean T. King, 71, died Thursday, November 29, at Beacon Place in Greensboro after a brief fight with kidney cancer.

A service to celebrate her life and witness will be on Monday, December 3, at 11 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, with the Rev. Bob Henderson and the Rev. Dolly Jacobs officiating. A reception and visitation will be held in the Virginia Gilmer Room following the service. Jean and her husband, Van King, moved to Greensboro in June 1973, where they lived and worked for many years. She was born in Elmhurst, Ill., a Chicago suburb, on December 17, 1946, the daughter of Albert and Laura Troyke. She grew up in Glen Rock, N.J., where she was active and successful academically. With her family, she was devoted to her volunteer worship, music and teaching roles at Our Savior Lutheran Church. She was a counselor at summer camps, where she enjoyed sharing the love of Christ through her smiling, quiet selflessness and joy. It grew into a graceful pattern for her life. She received a BA degree in Spanish with a minor in music from Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Ind. and a master’s degree in Spanish from Middlebury College in Vermont, with a year of study in Spain. She and her husband, Van, had met in Madrid in 1966 on a summer study program. Following her master’s program, she taught junior high school Spanish in Ridgewood, N.J. After her marriage in 1971, she taught Spanish at Edmunds High School in Sumter, S.C. Moving to Greensboro, she taught Spanish at Dudley High, and in subsequent years at Kiser Junior High, Grimsley High, Northeast High and other schools in full- and part-time roles. At the college level, she taught Spanish at the University of South Carolina in Lancaster for two years, while living there. She was selected as a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, an honorary organization for outstanding women educators. In Greensboro, Jean was actively involved in volunteer community and church roles throughout her life. She served as board chair of the United Arts Council, and was a member of the Greensboro Public Library Foundation Board, the board of the Eastern Music Festival, served as an adjunct chaplain at Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital and was a member of three book and study clubs. She rejoined those study clubs and First Presbyterian Church a year ago when she and her husband returned to Greensboro from a nine-year residence in Charlotte. In Charlotte, she was involved in United Way and served as a member and then chair of the Friends of the Library Board at Queens University of Charlotte. Her life centered on her family, church, friends and community. She lived to spend time with others in a selfless way, her radiant smile reflecting the love of Christ that she felt and shared quietly. She served as an ordained elder at First Presbyterian Church in Greensboro and at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, and was an active member and Stephen Minister in the First Presbyterian Church of Lancaster, S.C. In Greensboro, she served on the church’s stewardship generosity committee, pastoral search committee, mission outreach and various study groups and service efforts. She was a soprano member of the Chancel Choir for many years. She loved combining her Spanish skills with church mission trips and her chaplain roles at Cone Hospital. With the Greensboro, Lancaster and Charlotte churches, she went on mission trips to Kenya, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico and Cuba. She loved to travel, leaving the country 30 times during her life, bringing back gifts and context for her family and friends. Jean was known for her diligence, modesty, gentle spirit and kindness. She was blessed with lifelong friendships based on trust and love, and she accepted and valued difference. She will be remembered for her joy in and love of her family, where among many roles she served as president of the Jean T. King Reading Club, and where she modeled selflessness, a servant attitude and trust in God. She is survived by her husband of 47 years, Van King of Greensboro; son Reaves King, wife Layne King and grandsons Hodges and Drew King of Greensboro; son Troy King, wife Andrea King and granddaughters Sheridan, Kendall and Lucy King of Dallas, Texas. Memorials, in lieu of flowers, may be made to First Presbyterian Church of Greensboro, 617 N. Elm St., Greensboro, N.C. 27401.

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  • Celebration of Life and Gathering Following Monday, December 3, 2018

Jean King

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Debbie Avinger

December 4, 2018

Words can not convey our sorrow. Her smiling, fun self will be missed by many in so many different ways. She was truly a gem. So sorry John and I could not make it to Greensboro, we had just been up to LANCASTER for Joe Hegler’s service. Actually, we parked in The Lancaster News parking lot and were talking about Jean on our way into the church only to learn the sad news later that afternoon. My sister suffered so many years with her cancer to the point of me NOT being able to recognize her on her last visit with us. I am so thankful that the Jeannie’s suffering was brief and she is now in God’s Loving Hands and joyfully singing lead with the HEAVENLY chorus of angels. Much love, John and Debbie

Randy and Trisha Minix

December 2, 2018

Dear Van and Family,
You and Jean moved in above us in the Random Woods apt. complex in 1973 as newlyweds like us. We were there for only another year, but we enjoyed getting to know you both. We still remember when you found out you were pregnant with your first son, Reaves. During some point of the pregnancy yall came downstairs and knocked on our door to get our opinion as to whom was 'right'. You wanted us to settle an argument. You had a coffee pot that had some type of residue in the bottom that wouldn't come out. Van, you wanted to throw it away since your bride was pregnant and you were fearful of some harm coming to Jean and the baby she was carrying-Jean was adamant that it was perfectly safe and she wasn't willing to throw the coffee pot away :-)

Needless to say, as newlyweds ourselves, we chose NOT to get involved in your 'discussion' and therefore, gave no opinion to help you solve your dilemma. To this day we do not know how the situation ended, but it still stands as a fond remembrance of our short time together in the apartment with such fine people.

May God fill each one of you with His peace as only He can give during this difficult time. Even though we were surprised to read of Jean's passing, we enjoyed going down memory lane of how
blessed we have been as God put such a fine couple in our path so long ago. You are loved!!!

Randy and Trisha Minix

Emily Zimmern

December 2, 2018

Dear Van,
My heart goes out to you and your family. I'm so very sorry for your loss. Jean was a wonderful person who touched many lives and made the world a better place. I remember especially her beautiful smile, which radiated warmth and caring. Knowing her enriched my life. May her memory ever be a blessing. I send my heartfelt condolences at this sad time.
With deepest sympathy,

Petra Sprik

December 1, 2018

Jean was the most welcoming, gracious and giving woman. She transformed the communities she lived in with her love and attention. My prayers and thoughts are with the King family.

Leigh Pedigo

December 1, 2018

Jean was a great lady. Paul & I are sorry for your great & sudden loss. Thinking of you all & sending peace.

Inger manchester

November 30, 2018

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. What an amazing life Jean led-full of service, grace and family. Thank you for sharing the lovely words about her life. I remember seeing her frequently around the Covenant campus; always smiling and willing to help with anything. May Our Lord give your family His peace at this Holy time.