Charlie Lloyd King passed away on April 11, 2019 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, after a long and fruitful life of 96 years. It was a life devoted to the three things he treasured most: his family, his community, and a lifelong passion for learning.
Mr. King was born on January 28, 1923 near Okarche, Oklahoma, the eighth of eleven children born to Addie Martin (Thorne) King and Julian Sands (Jesse) King. After graduating from Okarche High School in 1940, Mr. King went to work as a carpenter. He enlisted in the Navy in October 1942, and spent his tour in the Pacific Theatre building airfields and support facilities during the island campaigns. He was honorably discharged in November of 1945.
Mr. King returned to Oklahoma and enrolled at Oklahoma State University to study Civil Engineering. It was during his first year at OSU that his roommate introduced him to Juanita May, a chemistry major from Pawhuska, Oklahoma. They married on September 7, 1947 and spent the next 68 years building a life and a family in Oklahoma until her death in 2015.
Mr. King graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering in 1950, and became a life-long advocate of everything OSU. He served on the Board of Visitors for the Civil Engineering School (1974 1977), and was a serial donor to scholarship funds and the Engineering school.
After receiving his degree, Mr. King was called up from the Naval Reserve for active duty during the Korean War. He was honorably discharged in January of 1952, and returned to Oklahoma to continue building his life and career. Mr. King worked as a Civil Engineer on projects in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Texas.
After his retirement Mr. King continued his work in the community, and was elected Water and Sewer Commissioner for the City of Tulsa in 1988. After his term on the City Commission, Mr. King continued to work in various roles in the state and local Democratic Party.
In 1991 Mr. King and his wife moved to a forty-acre tract in rural Creek County and continued to develop the property as their home and a retreat for his family. The Forty Acres hosted family events of all kinds for the next 28 years. It was also a focal point of his continuing passion for learning about any subject from Astronomy to Monarch butterflies. When he said that he had the "world's vastest store of useless knowledge", no one ever disputed that claim.
Mr. King is survived by his two daughters, Janie Lyon (Tulsa, OK), Joyce Cheatham (Pawnee, OK) and two sons, John King (La Habra Heights, CA) and Charles King (Denver, CO); 10 grandchildren; and 26 great-grandchildren.
A private family service will be held. The family requests that individuals making memorial donations in memory of Mr. King consider Grace Hospice, 6218 S. Lewis Ave., Tulsa, OK 73136 or Barth Syndrome Foundation, 2005 Palmer Ave. #1003, Larchmont, NY, 10538.