Edward J. King Jr. was a true American success story. From humble beginnings on a dust bowl era wheat farm in Jetmore, Kansas he went on to become a leader in the avionics industry, and to co-found King Estate Winery with his son Ed King III and other family. His obituary is below. Friends and loved ones that would like to leave a comment for Ed Jr. and his family are encouraged to do so at the bottom of this post, below the gallery.
The King Family
Edward J. King, Jr. was born on his parents’ farm near Jetmore, Kansas on August 8, 1921. His parents were Edward and Winifred King. His family included a brother and three sisters. He attended a one room school house, often on his horse Ned.
King graduated from Hodgeman County Community High School and attended Dodge City Junior College before enrolling as an engineering student at Kansas State University. He graduated from Kansas State in 1943 and went to work as an engineer, working for several companies before founding Communications Accessories Company in 1948. In 1955, King sold the company to Collins Radio Corporation and continued to work for Collins until 1959, when he founded King Radio Corporation.
King Radio started in Ed King’s basement, and then moved into a farmhouse in a Kansas City suburb, Lenexa, Kansas. King Radio sales rose along with the growth in the general aviation market and the great success of King Radio products. Employment at King Radio rose into the thousands, and its products were widely accepted for all general aviation aircraft.
In 1985, Ed King, Jr. sold King Radio to Allied Signal/Bendix Aerospace and retired, only to join with his son, also named Ed King, and other family members, to found King Estate Winery in 1991. While Ed King, Jr. enjoyed a bountiful retirement, King Estate Winery has met with wide success, establishing the wines of Oregon across the U.S. The family’s entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to excellence are exemplified by the life of Ed King , Jr.
King is survived by his wife of 32 years, Carolyn G. King, his son Ed King (Jodee), daughter Shelley King Theis, son William King, daughter Shannon Young, son Ronald Innes (Michelle) and granddaughters, grandsons, and a great grandson. He is predeceased by his brother and sisters, his wife Mary Jo McHargue King, daughter Ann Katherine King, grandson Michael Lane Thomas.
From his high school class motto at Hodgeman County, Kansas: “Deeds, not words.” And so he lived his life.
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