King, Ivan

Written by David Green.

Ivan E. King, Sr., 85, formerly of Morenci, Mich., died Sept. 2, 2011, in Las Cruces, N.M., after a brief illness.

Ivan was born Dec. 21, 1925, in Morenci. He played basketball and football at Morenci High School, from which he graduated in 1943. He learned to drive a truck at age 10, and loved the highway for the rest of his life.

Ivan served his country as a sailor in the United States Navy during World War II, seeing action in Okinawa. After the war, Ivan returned to the Midwest and married Wenonah Jean Bachelder. They bought an army surplus truck and began the first of their many entrepreneurial adventures together. Through the many ups and downs of business ownership, Ivan always considered Jean a full partner, and always gave her credit for the success he enjoyed.

In addition to many years as a self-employed trucker, Jean and Ivan owned and operated truck stops in Indiana, Ohio and Las Cruces. In between, Ivan worked as a sales agent for Farm Bureau Insurance Co. in Michigan. He was a member of the Million Dollar Round Table, the insurance industry’s highest honor.

Ivan was an avid pilot and owned several airplanes. He also rode snowmobiles and motorcycles, and lived life with great enthusiasm and gusto. 

Ivan is survived by his wife; a son, Ivan E. (and Margee) King, Jr.; a daughter, Jamie King (and John) Manning; a son-in-law, Thomas Smith; grandchildren Ivory King  (and Brandon) Barker, Patrick King, Kevin Austin Ross, Stephanie King (and Xavier) Vargas, Matthew King Johnson, Christopher Smith, Geoffrey (and Jennifer) Smith, and Angela Smith Fetherlin; and numerous great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by a daughter, Sharon King Smith; granddaughter, Sarah Anne King-Johnson; brothers Hugh and Robert; and a sister, Jean King Dilworth. 

Memorial contributions are suggested to La Posada Mesilla Valley Hospice.

  • Front.little Ball
    Fayette's Demetrious Whiteside (left)Skylar Lester attempt to keep the ball from going out of bounds during Morenci's recent basketball tournament for fourth and fifth grade teams. Morenci's Andrew Schmidt stands by.
  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

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