American Veteran 08

John Blackburn King

January 6, 1924 ~ February 25, 2024 (age 100) 100 Years Old
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John King Obituary


January 6, 1924 - February 25, 2024

"Jackie" Arriving on the Epiphany in Newburgh, New York, he was the eldest of five siblings born to Edna Mae Blackburn and Leslie Baker King.  He proved to be a dutiful, hard-working son starting his work life at age 11 delivering ice (summer) and coal (winter).  Being allowed to drive at such an early age was the start of his love affair with cars (and NASCAR).  He is survived by his youngest sister, Tamar, as his sisters Edna and Annette and brother Leslie have joined their parents.

"Lt. Commander King"  After his Mother, Jack's next love was the Navy.  His 29 year career (1942-1971) saw him rise from the ranks of the enlisted to a (Mustang) Lt. Commander prior to his retirement.  He served with honor and distinction during World War II in Ireland, England, and France (he was at Omaha Beach on D-Day), as well as service in New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, the Persian Gulf, Guantanamo Bay Cuba (his second tour there was during the Cuban Missile Crisis), California, Maryland/Washington D.C., Hawaii, Italy, and Virginia.  Whether as a radioman, cryptologist, in communications, serving flagship duty on the USS Duxbury Bay, or intelligence officer (NAVSECGRUDET) - he loved every minute!

"Jack"  On Memorial Day 1948, Jack married the "love of his life", Sally (Sarah Mary Jones).  They both loved dancing, traveling, bowling (he had a perfect 300 once!), card games, and parties.  Jack never removed his wedding band once during their 55 years of marriage and, almost daily, brought Sally a fresh flower from his garden.  After Sally's passing, Jack eventually met and married Marion Megna Spadaro; they enjoyed life together for nearly sixteen years before her passing in 2020.

"Dad/Grandpa/PopPop"  Jack and Sally raised three (wonderful) children - Debbie, John, and Mike.  (Despite his Navy service, all three somehow managed to be born at Army hospitals!)  They had great fun traveling and seeing the world.  Upon his remarriage to Marion, he added three adult step-children - John, Kenny, and Michele - to the mix.  He was an extremely positive role model, always honest, humorous, pragmatic, kind, fun jokester, a generously giving provider, and optimistic realist.  No kid could have asked for better.

Dad always loved little children, and was especially enamored of his grandkids - Renee, Jeromie, Kelly, Nicole, Chris, Michelle, Andrea, and Tommy.  Adding to the generations, he took delight in the arrival of each of his great-grandkids, too - Katie, Hannah, Jacob, Haley, Bryce, Makayla, Callie, and Kieran.  The very last love of his life was his great-great-granddaughter, Miss Gray.  He was so proud to be the "anchor" responsible for achieving five living generations three different times during the last fifty-five years.

"Jack"  In January, he met his final goal, reaching 100 years of age!  Based on his genealogy research going back 400 years, he was the only male King to do so.  Whether he was called John, Jackie, Jack, Lt. Commander King, Dad, Grandpa, PopPop, Brother, Uncle, Cousin, or Friend - we were all blessed to have him in our lives and are diminished by his passing.  He always loved his country, his family . . . and a good Manhattan.  Fair winds and following seas, Jack!

Interment Service will be at 10:30 AM on Saturday, June 8, 2024 at Cedar Hill Cemetery and Mausoleum, 5468 Route 9W North, Newburgh, NY 12550 (845-562-1388), followed by a celebratory luncheon (location tbd).  In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the Disabled American Veterans (, the Fleet Reserve Association (, or your favorite charity.

Arrangements are in the care of Providence Funeral and Cremation Service.

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