John Allen King, 74, of Clarkton, a retired educator in New Madrid County, died Sunday, July 4, 2010 after a lingering illness, at the Gideon Care Center. Before retiring in 1995, Mr. King taught for 38 years at Gideon High School. A versatile scholar, he taught variously all levels of English-grammar, literature, research, and composition, as well as World History, American History, American Government, Sociology, Psychology, and Economics. For extra curricular activities, he served as coach of the Gideon Teams and Public Speaking.
Mr. King was born Sept. 3, 1935, in a farmhouse in rural Gideon to David and Ola King. In 1963, he was married to Agnes Elaine Entrikin, who preceded him in death. One son, Matthew Starr King, also preceded him in death at the age of 13 as a result of an accident
Mr. King received his Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Missouri at Columbia, having taught at the University Laboratory School and graduating with highest honors. He served as Class Marshall for the class of 1957. His Masters of Arts degree was completed at the University of Mississippi in 1963 where he served as a fellow of history in the graduate school.
He served as company clerk for his unit during his militay service at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., and Fort Collins, Colo. Among the accomplishments of which he was most proud, in addition to his qualifying as paratrooper and receiving a first in markmanship in his battle group, were his membership in the academic honorary fraternities of Phi Eta Sigma, Phi Delta Kappa, and Phi Alpha Theta.
A devoted father and husband, he was a member of the First United Methodis Church of Gideon. His civic concern resulted in membership in the Gideon Kiwanis Club.
His teaching career was always directed toward the betterment of his students, not only the academically proficient, but also those at risk. He will be missed by an entire family of students, but his influence will continue to shape their lives.
Funeral services were held Tuesday, July 6, 2010, at First Presbyterian Church of Malden. Reverend Jocelyn VanBuskirk officiated and interment was in Dunklin County Memorial Gardens at Kennett with Landess Funeral Home of Malden in charge of arrangements.
His only immediate survivors are one brother, James King, and wife Ava of Gideon. His extended family includes one nephew, John DaVault and wife Kerry; one great-niece, Audrey DaVault; one great-nephew, Cole DaVault , all of St. Louis, Mo. and two cousins, Suzanne Williams, of Salamanca, N.Y. and Mary Becker, of Madison, Wis.