King, Wenonah Jean

Wenonah Jean Bachelder King, 85, died April 28, 2014, at Mesilla Valley Hospice in Las Cruces, N.M.

Jean was born July 17, 1928, in Morenci, Mich., to Launie and Gertrude Bachelder.  Jean was raised in Morenci, and was a cheerleader at Morenci High School, where she graduated in 1946. Ivan King, Sr., a halfback on the football team, came home from the Navy and asked Jean to marry him.  They wed on Feb. 28, 1947, and were a devoted couple until Ivan’s death in 2011.

In addition to being a homemaker and mother, Jean worked for several years at Porter Lumber Company. She went into business with her husband in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio, where they owned two truck stops, a restaurant, a liquor store, and an insurance agency.  In the late 1970s, the family moved to Las Cruces, N.M., where Jean and Ivan owned and operated the 70/80 Truck Stop on Picacho Avenue.

Jean is survived by her son, Ivan King, Jr., and wife, Margee; her daughter, Jamie King-Manning and husband, John;  grandchildren, Stephanie Vargas and husband, Xavier and their son, Gabriel; Matthew Johnson, Ivory Barker and husband, Brandon and their children Hayley and Beau; Christopher Smith, Geoffrey Smith, Angela Ivey, Patrick King, and Kevin Austin, and several great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.

Jean was preceded in death by her husband; a daughter, Sharon Smith;  and a granddaughter, Sarah “Annie” King-Johnson.  

Visitation is scheduled from 1 to 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 6, at Baca Funeral Home. A memorial service will follow with Pastor Felix Gonzales officiating.

Donations are suggested to Mesilla Valley Hospice.