George Neal King
January 17, 1936 – May 5, 2021
George Neal King, of Tampa, FL, passed away on May 5, 2021, at age 85. George was born in Columbia, Mo, on January 17, 1936, the only child of George and Abigail Louise King. He attended Hickman High School in Columbia, where he played trumpet and varsity baseball. At Hickman, George began dating his future wife, Anne Sutton. They met years earlier in the nursery of their church.
As a young man, George spent many summers fishing and camping with his uncles at the Lake of the Ozarks. If not fishing with his father or uncles, George and friends biked to favorite fishing holes, mowed yards, built forts and played baseball.
After high school graduation, George attended the University of Missouri and joined Sigma Nu fraternity. Anne and George were married in Columbia at the First Baptist church in 1956. George graduated in 1960 with a degree in Electrical Engineering.
George is survived by his wife of 65 years, Anne Sutton King; four adult children - Lizabeth (FL), George E & Nancy (MI), David & Lori (TX), and John & Jennifer (FL); eight grandchildren - Morgan (FL), Lane and Phillipe(MN), George S(IL), Sarah and Aaron(TX), Amanda and Tyler(TX), Katie and Matt (IL), Zack(FL), and, Bailey and Andy(CA); plus bonus grandchildren Brennan, Cassidy, Evan, Sean, Joshua, and Marc. great-grand children - Ella, Everett, Evelyn, Claire, Noel, and Oliver; nieces - Elizabeth(Shawn) MO, and Eaddy(Josh) CT; and great-niece and nephews - Ella and Theo(CT) and Graham(MO).
George worked at GTE/Verizon for 39 years. He began his career as a lineman in the 1950’s where he learned the value of hard work. He held various operation positions in Columbia, then in 1977, George became VP - Operations at GTE of the Midwest, based in Grinnell, IA. Five years later, he was promoted to VP - Network Engineering and Construction of GTE Florida and moved to Tampa, FL. George’s first accomplishment in Florida was the completion of GTE Center, Tampa Bay’s original skyscraper. The building was renamed Tampa City Center and it remains the third tallest building on Florida’s west coast at 39 stories.
George became VP - Planning, Engineering and Standards in Dallas, where he oversaw the construction of the new headquarters location in Los Colinas at 500 and 600 Hidden Ridge. He led the acquisition of the telecom business in Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. George retired in 1993.
George was an avid outdoorsman, and he loved to fish with family and friends, including salmon fishing in Alaska. A favorite destination was River Ranch in his bass boat at Kissimmee River near Lake Wales, FL. He enjoyed activities with his children and grand children, played couples bridge with friends on a regular basis, dined out, traveled with Anne to six continents and many countries along with annual vacations in North Carolina, and of course fishing, fishing, and fishing with friends and family.
George served as an officer of Westgate River Ranch Owners Association where he had many friends. He served at his church, and during his long career at GTE he participated in numerous community and charitable endeavors.
A funeral service will be held at Lake Magdalene United Methodist Church in Tampa, FL, on June 12, 2021 at 10 a.m. An obituary and funeral plans can be found at https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/tampa-fl/george-king-10182386
In lieu of flowers, memorials in George’s name may be made to:
“The Spoken Word”, Lake Magdalene United Methodist Church, 2902 W Fletcher Ave., Tampa, FL 33618
Please visit the following link for the live stream of the service on June 12th at 10am EST: https://youtu.be/6OofPosAS2k
Saturday, June 12, 2021
George Neal King
June 14, 2021
Growing up with John in Grinnell, IA, I was fortunate enough to get to know George as a father figure. I always respected the unyielding devotion to his family and the guiding force he commanded. My life is better for having known him and I’m thankful for his influence on my life. A great family man, leader and mentor. He will be missed.
June 10, 2021
He was simply the best father in law, full of fun wisdom and fish stories and gave the best hugs..He was a great family man...and my time with him too short. Much love Big George
June 8, 2021
One of my recent memories of George was fishing at River Ranch and knowing how close to the water his boat was when a gator was 6 inches from my bobber. On the way to his favorite fishing hole as the boat went by the sand beaches the hundreds of sunning gators charged into the water as if they were coming for us. With that cute half smile I think he was enjoying my fear. He was so calming and so easy to visit with. What a great family to know and enjoy. Love Kate
June 7, 2021
When we lived in Grinnell, Iowa, some of the GTE wives would go on antiquing trips. During one of these, I purchased a large piece of cut glass and later wasn't sure my husband, Don, would appreciate the cost of the item I showed it to George and he immediately said"Ill pay you double for it." He just made my worries go away. A kind and caring gentleman..Dana Long
June 6, 2021
George was an inspiration to all who worked with him. He taught me invaluable lessons that have served me well through the years. I thank his family for having shared George with us through both the thick and thin years at GTE. Rest In Peace George.
June 6, 2021
I worked with George, off and on, for many years, retiring in 1992. There was a period, when George was on special assignment, that I replaced him for a period of time. George was a good man, a compassionate man, and a formidable leader. I could always depend on George as a reliable sounding board. While I have not seen George in many years, our memories together will last my lifetime. Rest in piece my friend.
Barry & Dee Johnson
June 5, 2021
George took me under his wing and taught me the ins and outs of operations at GTE. He was a great teacher and leader and I will always be greatful for his guidance. Prayers to his family. RIP.
June 5, 2021
George was an amazing man - I had the pleasure to work under his leadership at GTE. Hoping his family finds comfort in the legacy he leaves behind...
Mark and Colleen Feighner
May 13, 2021
We are so sorry to learn of George's passing. He was a great leader and friend, with a wonderful family. May the Lord comfort you and be with you at this time of loss. God Bless. Mark and Colleen Feighner
Dottie and Bernie Rupp
May 12, 2021
We were so sorry to hear about the passing of George. May your wonderful memories comfort you during this sad time.
Dottie and Bernie