Mr. Michael Frederick King, 77, of Murray, Ky., passed away at home on Friday, Jan. 5, 2018. He was baptized as a child in the Lutheran Church and was a member of the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Murray. Mike was born Dec. 11, 1940, in Commerce, Texas. He was preceded in death by his parents, Dr. Newell and Doris King, and one brother, Phillip. On June 25, 1965, he married Nita Abernathy King in Commerce.
Mike attended East Texas State University where he was a member of Kappa Alpha Order and completed his BS in Biology and Chemistry at Austin College in Sherman, Texas. In 1963, he and his father built Oaks Manor Nursing Home in Commerce before expanding to three additional locations throughout East Texas. He and several physicians also founded and built Commerce Medical and Surgical Center which is now part of the Baylor Hopsital System. In 1980, Mike and Nita moved into retail with the purchase of The Collegiate Shoppe in Mt. Pleasant, Texas. They also opened and operated a men's clothing store, The Canterbury Shoppe. Mike was active in his community, serving as president of the Downtown Merchants' Association and president of Band Boosters and Tiger Doll Supporters.
Mike was known and loved as a good and gentle man. He had a special heart for animals, particularly those that were lost or abandoned. He and Nita always had at least one rescue dog as a pet. His caregivers often commented on his sweet smile, his humble disposition, and his kindness towards everyone he met. He was also a lover of Broadway musicals, classical music, and an avid opera enthusiast. He fell in love with opera at 9 years old and, over the years, attended dozens of operas in Dallas and New York. He experienced the live performances of notables such as Maria Callas, Joan Sutherland, Leontyne Price, Marilyn Horne, Luciano Pavarotti and Beverly Sills. During their years in Murray, Mike and Nita would even travel to Paducah, Ky., to enjoy The Metropolitan Opera's "Live in HD" performances. One of Mike's fondest and most recent memories was a 2015 trip to the Met in New York City to see Puccini's Turandot. He was accompanied by his family, Nita, Chris, Catherine, Jenn and Patrick, and it was a highlight of his life. Above all, Mike adored his family and grandchildren, and always desired to be close to them. He and Nita relocated several times over the past 15 years, enjoying seasons in Baton Rouge, La., Clarksville, Tenn., and eventually, Murray, Ky.
He passed from this world to the next, peacefully, surrounded by his family. He will be deeply missed.
Survivors in addition to his wife include a son, Dr. Christopher Michael King (Jenn King) of Ithaca, NY; a daughter, Catherine King Smith (The Rev. Patrick Smith) of Quincy, Ill.; four grandchildren, Jacob, Chloe, Adeline and Piper; a brother, Kenneth King (Betty) of Dallas, Texas; a brother-in-law, Bill Abernathy (Mary) of Lewisville, Texas; and four nieces and nephews.
He was cremated, according to his wishes and a memorial ceremony will be held at a future date. His family wishes to thank all of his cargivers at Murray Calloway County Hospital, Hospice, the staff of Brookdale Senior Living, and Dr. Daniel Butler and his nurse, Kelly.
Condolences may be sent to 905 Glendale, Apt. 103, Murray, KY 42071 or at www.imesfh.com.
Memorials may be sent to Murray Calloway County Animal Shelter, 81 Shelter Rd., Murray, KY 42071 or No Kill Hunt County Animal Shelter (NKHC), 1303 CR 4208, Campbell, TX 75422.
Imes Funeral Home & Crematory, downtown Murray is in charge of arrangements.
Published on January 9, 2018