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Charles W. "Bill" King 1934-2015

Charles "Bill" KingCharles W. "Bill" King, longtime Edwardsville attorney, died August 5, 2015 at 12:18 am.

Mr. King was born September 27, 1934 in Mt. Carmel, Wabash County, IL to Dorothy (Steckler) King and Charles Grover King, spending the first years of his life on his maternal grandparents' farm, then moving with his parents during the World War II years to Nashville, TN.

He graduated from Father Ryan High School in Nashville and was then admitted to the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN. He spoke of his days in Nashville, holding many jobs including working as a laborer-assistant "dynamite man," blasting rock for sewer construction, and selling souvenirs at the Grand Ole Opry, then held in the Ryman Auditorium, seeing all the great performers of that era and once performing as Tom Sawyer in a playhouse production with the late Mrs. Sarah Cannon, widely known as "Minnie Pearl," who Mr. King remembered as "a lovely person".

At Notre Dame, Mr. King was the Wing Commander of the 300 Unit Air Force ROTC and received an award from the American Legion. He worked his way through Notre Dame, primarily as a promotional writer and member of the production crew at the CBS-TV affiliate in South Bend, WSBT-TV.

After graduation from Notre Dame in 1956, Mr. King entered flight school in the U.S. Air Force, graduating from single engine jet pilot training at Webb AFB, TX in 1957. He was then assigned to Germany, where he flew multiple non-combat missions to all the NATO countries and travelled widely in Europe.

Upon his discharge from the Air Force, Mr. King worked in St. Louis and then enrolled in St. Louis University Law School, graduating in 1963. (He joked that he received the "International Law Award" at SLU, which he said uniquely prepared him for practicing for over 50 years in Madison County, IL, whose ethnic, cultural, and political diversity he loved.) He first became a partner in the law firm of Burroughs, Simpson & King in Edwardsville, which later became the firm of Hepler Broom. Mr. King went into private practice in 1970. During his career he tried over 100 jury cases, representing a diversity of clients, including individuals, physicians, insurance companies, and major corporations. Always generous with his time, he often did pro-bono work for friends, family, and people that fully intended to pay him later.

Mr. King was an Assistant Illinois Attorney General and was the Edwardsville City Attorney under four successive mayors. His additional community leadership included contributions as Chairman of the Edwardsville Zoning Board; President and Board Member of the Edwardsville YMCA; host of the "Legal Line" local radio program for ten years; and several church and civic groups.

Though his accomplishments were many, Mr. King was most proud of his family. He and Mrs. King married on January 8, 1966 at St. Ann's Catholic Church in Normandy, MO. While raising their children, they travelled to all of the lower 48 contiguous states and most Canadian provinces, oftentimes with a canoe (built by Mr. King from a kit) strapped precariously to the roof of their car. Always eager to befriend the people with whom he crossed paths, Charles W. King will be missed by many. He had a gift for making the people in his life feel important and valued, especially those who lacked the resources, for whatever reasons, to always feel that way.

He is survived by his spouse, Jean Marie (Kendrick) King, his three children, Catherine D. Arnold of Calverton Park, MO; Daniel W. King (Suzy Beagen) of Ozark, IL; and Patrick J. King (Beth Koehler) of Makanda, IL; and his nine grandchildren: Catherine's children, Christopher, John-Patrick and Cate Arnold; Daniel's children, Katrina, Charlie, Brian, and Colleen King; and Patrick's children, Iris and Rowan King. Mr. King is also survived by a sister, M. Suzanne Bires (Jerry) of Carbondale, IL; sisters-in-law Mary Ann, Jane and Cheri Kendrick and brothers-in-law John and Dan Kendrick, and David Pope, former son-in-law Rick Arnold, as well as many dear nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, an infant grandson, Mathew Thomas Arnold, and sister-in-law, Joan (Kendrick) Pope, Mrs. King's twin sister.

Services have been held. In lieu of flowers, gifts in memory of Mr. King are suggested to the Camp Ondessonk Scholarship Fund, 3760 Ondessonk Road, Ozark, IL 62972.

Posted on August 11, 2015 by Chris Bonjean