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1942 David 2023

David Loran King

October 27, 1942 — February 16, 2023

Paducah

David L. King, “Coach King” to many, left this world on Feb.15, 2023 at age 80 at Stonecreek Health and Rehabilitation.  Thankfully, David had been able to spend Valentine’s Day with the love of his life, Linda King.  Linda’s faithful devotion to David was matched by his devotion to her.  David and Linda had just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary.

David was born on October 27, 1942, to Clay L. and Polly Jerrell King.  He grew up in the heart of Heath, between the four-way stop and the railroad tracks on Metropolis Lake Road.  The softest spot in his heart was reserved for dogs.  His life was saved at age 2 by a beloved collie, Rusty.  David had escaped the house and walked over the railroad tracks down the highway, but Rusty followed him and kept pushing him off the road until a neighbor rescued them.  Throughout his life, David took in more strays and homeless dogs than we can count.  Each one adopted into the family was treated like a King.

When the Gaseous Diffusion Plant was being built in West Paducah, so many families moved to Heath that there were 100 kids in the one block stretch from the railroad to the intersection of Woodville Road.  This was a kid’s paradise.  The neighborhood boys started organizing baseball games round the clock.  Several games at a time would be in play on multiple makeshift fields.  This led to David’s lifelong love of all things baseball.  He played on Pony League teams, Heath High School teams, and at PCC.  During college, he and some other baseball-obsessed friends discovered APBA – a fantasy baseball board game – and they never stopped playing it (or its rival, Strat-O-Matic) for the next 60 years.

David graduated from Heath in 1960, and he and his friend Terry Hutcherson devoted themselves to keeping the class of 1960 connected for life.  This class has a reunion every year, keeps an up-to-date Facebook page, and still has an active phone tree.

In addition to playing baseball, David also played basketball and became a basketball coach.  He graduated from Murray State University as a secondary education teacher, teaching mostly history but also some health and P.E. and driver’s education.  He began his coaching career at Sharpe with an 8th grade team, moved to Meridian High School in Illinois with a freshman and sophomore team, back to Kentucky to Lone Oak Junior High, then to Hickman County High School, where he was named Jackson Purchase Coach of the Year by the Paducah Sun-Democrat in 1970.  From there he went to North Marshall High School, then to St. Clair, MIssouri for one year, and his last high school team was at Calloway County High School.  In the late 1970’s, he moved back to Paducah to teach and coach at Lone Oak Middle School, where he retired in 1996.  He greatly valued all the coaching friendships he made, both with players and fellow coaches, and stayed in touch with many of these friends until his death. He was a wealth of Purchase area basketball and baseball knowledge and could reel off decades of player and statistic info from memory.

His knowledge of history was also astonishing, with a savant ability for dates. David could not only name the date of almost any event in history, but also of his personal history, including not just the date but the day of the week.  If he didn’t know what day of the week it occurred on, he could calculate it in his head quickly.  His fascination with history meant that family vacations were mapped so that stops could be made at The Last Standing Sod House in America, or The Harry Truman Museum, or The Largest Collection of Nazi Artifacts in North America.  He was a mental curator all things JFK, World War II, and the Old West.  His most memorable vacation with Linda was an exploration of the West, and within the last year he read both of James Michener’s Centennial and Texas.

In addition to Linda, his survivors include his children Kelly (Wayne) King Walden, Ellen (Jim) King Denny, both of Paducah, and Rod King of Wolf Point, Montana; stepchildren Lori (Camron) Guill of Smithland, Aimee (Patrick) Singleton and Brooke (Brandon) Grow both of Lexington; 23 grandchildren:  Ryson, Cason, Michael-Ellen, and Kalkidan Walden; Tristan, Paige, and Madeline Potter; Blaire, Natalie, Sawyer, and Bennett Guill; Eli and Evan Singleton; Hagan, Ethan, and Caroline Grow; Gage, Garrett (Bethany), Hallic, and Hattie Dunn; Julie, Jemma, and Eiryn Holloway; and two great-grandchildren:  Easton Dunn and Harrison Dunn. He was preceded in death by his parents.

Funeral services will be at 12:00 noon on Saturday, February 25, 2023 at Lindsey Funeral Home with Al Logsdon and Terrell Lee officiating.  Burial will follow at Benton Church of Christ Cemetery.

Friends may visit the family from 5:00-8:00 on Friday, February 24 or from 11:00 to service hour on Saturday at the funeral home.

Memorial gifts can be made to McGangsters of Paducah ( themcgangsterfund@gmail.com ) or Kidane Mehret Children’s Home of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, which is where Emelia Kalkidan Walden, David’s granddaughter, lived.

Donations can be made at this link www.gurshaethiopia.com or via Venmo @Gursha-Inc. Your donation is tax-deductible.  Checks can be made out to Gursha, Inc and mailed to 7 Kirkland Road, Cambridge, MA 02138.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of David Loran King, please visit our flower store.

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Visitation

Saturday, February 25, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Saturday, February 25, 2023

Starts at 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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