John (Jack) King

August 18, 1950 - July 21, 2017
Suttons Bay, MI



Sunday, August 13, 2017
3:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes
Alt & Shawmut Chapel
2120 Lake Michigan Dr., N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 453-8263
Driving Directions


Monday, August 14, 2017
11:00 AM to 12:00 PM EDT
The Parish of The Holy Spirt
2230 Lake Michigan Dr NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

The Jack & Linda King Memorial Scholarship Fund
Whiting Drive
Midland, MI 48640


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Ball Park Floral
8 Valley Ave.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 459-3409
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


With high expectations, discipline, and fortitude, John “Jack” King lived his life with deep commitment and inspiring resolve. Jack was a man who found great satisfaction in learning and passing his experiences on to those he cared about most. His appreciation for the outdoors, being active, and cars was only exceeded by his love for his family and friends. Revered by many, Jack’s legacy will long inspire those who were blessed to share his life.

The 1950s proved a time of increased comforts and exciting new possibilities. As unemployment dropped to 3.3% the nation additionally celebrated the first direct dial trans-coastal phone call, easier travel in more comfortable cars and on newly paved interstates, and the premieres of “I Love Lucy,” “ The Day The Earth Stood Still,” and “An American in Paris.” For Joseph and Dorothy (Gill) King the excitement of becoming parents was cause for much celebration as they welcomed their son John into their hearts and home.

Jack grew up in Anderson, Indiana where his father worked as a doctor, and his mother was a French teacher. Along with his younger sister Molly, Jack was raised in a home centered on the values of education and faith. The family rooted itself in Catholicism attending various churches over the years and with the children attending St. Mary’s Catholic Elementary School. It is upon this firm foundation that Jack built the course of the rest of his life.

From his earliest years, Jack loved sports, especially basketball. While attending Anderson High School and college, Jack was happiest when on the court, ball field, or running cross country. After graduating high school, Jack attended Hiram Scott College in Nebraska where he often joked that he majored in basketball and minored in pheasant hunting. Jack then transferred to Staunton Military Academy in Virginia and eventually, Jack earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Northwood Institute where he also continued his basketball career.

Jack’s innate athleticism and love of the outdoors also resulted in a love of downhill skiing, kayaking, biking, and his family’s yearly get together on Walloon Lake in Michigan. Not one to be idle for long, for many, many years Jack enjoyed the challenges and rewards of coaching and reffing basketball, and playing recreational softball.

In 1977, while working as a college academic and athletic recruiter, Jack had the good fortune of meeting fellow academic recruiter, Linda Chown. They soon went out for their first fateful dinner when Jack realized he’d forgotten his wallet and the two realized they had more in common than their work for the University. After dating for about a year, the happy couple married in a ceremony in Kalamazoo in 1978.

After honeymooning in Bermuda, Jack and Linda settled in Midland, Michigan where they both continued to work for Northwood Institute. Their family lovingly grew upon the birth of their son Brian and again a few years later when Jason was born after they’d relocated to Grand Rapids. Jack was a proud father who held high expectations of his sons. With a loving and stern insistence on their very best, Jack encouraged them in all of their endeavors. While demanding, Jack also knew how to have fun. Some of the family’s best of times were spent on vacations. Over the years, the family enjoyed traveling to Colorado, Arizona, Wyoming, Florida, Caribbean and Mediterranean cruises, and many Indian Guides camping trips. Jack especially enjoyed coaching his boys’ soccer and basketball teams.

While Jack knew how to have fun, he took great pride in his accomplishments at work. His unmatched work ethic and relationship building proved to be incredibly successful in virtually everything he was involved in...whether it was with Northwood University, Autotrader.com, LA West, Centurion, or Federal Mogul.

Jack enjoyed the music of Neil Diamond, Kenny Rogers, and the Beach Boys, and treasured a few antiques from his family’s farm, the cottage in Irons, but nothing inspired his smile quite like his most prized possession: the 1966 International Scout that his father bought brand new for the farm when Jack turned 16. He continued to cherish it for 50 years.

Though sports, travel, and cars proved steady sources of fun and satisfaction for Jack, nothing filled his heart quite like the thrill of becoming a grandfather earlier this year. Within the eyes of six-month-old Joseph, Jack could easily see the sparks of his legacy and hopes for the future. Whether catching a game, playing with his grand doggies, or catching up with life long friends, Jack enjoyed each of his days and lived life fully.