William Z. "Bill" King, 85, longtime head of the Riviera Club, passed away on July 25 following a stroke. King, who was born in Elwood, Ind., worked at the Riviera Club from 1941-2001, retiring as president and general manager. A memorial service is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 1, 2009, at the First Baptist Church of Indianapolis at 8600 N. College Ave.
He was hired in 1941 by James H. Makin, who founded the Riviera Club with his wife Ethel and other friends, after Makin heard King's presentation at Boy's State. That lucky meeting led to a lifelong career at and love for the Riviera Club. He began working at the pool's front desk while learning the club's business and went on to serve as the club's second in command until the retirement of Mrs. Makin, when King became president and general manager.
While working at Rivi, King met his future wife, Sherry McDowell, a lifeguard at the club. They were married Oct. 31, 1948. They both worked at the club and became familiar figures to generations of youngsters and families who frequented Rivi.
King graduated from Butler University in 1948, with a business degree. He was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity and was voted Sigma Chi Alum of the Year by the Butler Chapter in 1972. He was a World War II veteran, serving in the U.S. Air Force as a decoder based in Greenland during the war.
King is survived by his wife, Sherry; daughter, Leslie; son, Mel (Cathy); grandsons Buddy, Bob and Tom King; granddaughter, Mindy Mueller Marzolf (Eric); and sister, Shirley K. Myers. He was preceded in death by his eldest daughter, Linda K. Mueller (Bill). He also was very close to his nieces and nephews, Dr. John L. Myers (Jo Ellen); Betsy Myers Plymate (Todd); Ginny Myers Shaffer (Wayne) and Dr. William Myers (Krisce), and their children. King was born Aug. 17, 1923, in Elwood, Ind., and moved to Indianapolis when he accepted the job at Rivi.
He was a member of the Scottish Rite, the Murat Shrine and a 32nd degree mason at the Calvin Prather Lodge. He also was a former member of the Universal Club, American Legion (Holiday Legion); Jaycees; and the Irvington Dance Club.
The family would like to extend thanks and gratitude to the staff at St. Vincent Hospice for the compassionate and loving care they gave to Bill and the wonderful support provided to the family.