• July 25, 2014

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William Porter King Jr.

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Services for William Porter King Jr., 93, of Harker Heights, will be at 10 a.m. today at the Bell-Cypert-Seale Funeral Home in Snyder. Burial will follow in the Snyder Cemetery.

Mr. King died Oct. 31, 2013. He was born June 22, 1920, to William Porter King and Grace Moore King in Snyder. He lived in Snyder until 2009 when an illness required him to live closer to his family in Harker Heights.

Mr. King attended Texas Tech for a year and was a member of the National Guard when World War II started. Mr. King rose to the rank of sergeant in Signal Corps where he saw action during four World War II campaigns. He served in North Africa, Sicily, France and Germany. He received the American Defense Medal and the EAME and Good Conduct Medals.

After World War II, Mr. King’s father asked him to come home to Snyder and work in the family business, King and Brown. He remained working at the store because he “liked being his own boss,” and he enjoyed talking with all the old timers who would come by to see his father.

As a child, he was involved in sports and liked to do both yard and garden work. Mr. King was active in the Boy Scouts of America.

In 1937, Life Magazine published a picture of Bill in his Boy Scout uniform trading horned toads on the steps of the National Capitol. When he ran out of toads to trade, Mr. King’s father collected more horned toads so he could send them to him.

Mr. King’s home in Snyder was pictured in the book Stone-Tree Houses of Texas. He was very fond of the stone fish pond at his home. Mr. King and his father gathered the petrified rock to construct the pond and rocked the house. Mr. King was a member of the Grand Lodge of Texas Chapter 706 for 50 years.

In 1936, he received the Boy Scouts’ highest honor of Eagle Scout while attending the national Boy Scout Jamboree in Washington, D.C. Mr. King’s father was the first Scout Master in Snyder and led his troop.

Mr. King married Vondell Jones Ewing in 1957 in Lovington, N.M., where a historic snowstorm blanketed most of New Mexico and Texas leaving them stranded. They managed to get a marriage license before the roads were closed and were able to get married.

After moving to Indian Oaks Living Center in Harker Heights, Mr. King developed many new friends and was elected Valentine’s king by the residents in 2011.

Mr. King was preceded in death by one daughter, Bonnie Mae King; his parents, William Porter King Sr. and Grace Moore King; his sister, Kay Sharp Sissenstein; and his wife, Vondell Jones King.

Survivors include his children, Beth and Walter Zanardi of Cape Coral, Fla., Lorndell and Larry Tomlin of Frankston, Emmadell and Wallace Vernon of Killeen, Leta and Joe Parker of Celina; eight grandchildren, Victor Gene Valentine of Fort Myers, Mike Valentine of Fluvanna, Marc Valentine of Abilene, Bill Vernon of Moody, Kathi Barksdale of Melvin, Patricia Cummins of Killeen, Kevyn Daykin of Celina and Laura Lyons of Sewell, N.J.; 21 great-grandchildren, Kyle, Sydne, Miller, Miles, Merick, Zacary and Lauren Valentine, Ace and Sarah Vernon, Victoria, Lexi, Cole and Dawson Barksdale, Elijah and Isaac Cummins, Koal and Garret Daykin and Connor, Kelsey, Cameron Lyons and Claudio Ranieri.

Pall bearers are David Barksdale, Gene Cummins, Bill Vernon, Vick Valentine, Mike Valentine and Marc Valentine.

Memorials can be made to the First Baptist Church, 3310 S. W.S. Young Drive, Killeen, TX 76542.

Visitation was from 6 to 7 p.m. Sunday at the Bell-Cypert-Seale Funeral Home in Snyder, which is in charge of arrangements.

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