Tennyson, IN. — John Donald “Don” King, 85, died Friday, Feb. 5, 2021 at home surrounded by family.
Don was born June 20, 1935. He was an avid hunter and fisherman, farmer, and played baseball, basketball, football, and shot put in track and field in high school. He played independent semi-professional baseball for several area teams from the age of 14. He was a pitcher feared by many of his opponents during his younger years of playing. He faced Del Harris from Dale Indiana, who in later years was the coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, as a batter in a game while Del was pitching. Don was hit by a pitch after which Del asked if he was all right. Don replied, “You don’t throw hard enough to hurt me.” Don was the catcher in a 21-inning game, while playing for Saint Henry against Holland in the Lincoln Land League, which was one of the longest running games in semi-pro history. He hit one of the longest home runs seen at the stadium while playing for an independent league in Missouri while working at Chrysler Corporation. He loved to watch the St. Louis Cardinals and IU’s basketball games. He was a policeman for the city of Boonville for 32 years until retiring in 1997.
Don was preceded in death by his parents Gladys Opal (Renshaw) King and John William King, his aunt Lillie Renshaw who helped raise him, his brother Bill E. King and sister-in-law Charlotte, his sister June and brother-in-law Morris Miller, and his brother-in-law Richard Wirtz (Joyce).
He is survived by his wife of 48 years Patricia Ramsey King, his son Carl William (Sheila) King, his daughters Rise Smythe-Freed and Belinda Ann King, his sister Joyce Wirtz, ten grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. Extraordinarily loved, he is missed by his family and loyal friends.
Graveside services for family and friends will be held at Bethabara Cemetery on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021 at 2 p.m. with masks and social distancing observed.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Warrick County Fraternal Order of Police Children’s Christmas Fund, a yearly event he co-founded with his police partner, Frank Baker, by mailing to Warrick County FOP, PO Box 239, Boonville, Indiana.
Friends unable to attend may send a condolence to the family at www.KoehlerFuneralHome.com