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John Wayne King

Posted on Friday, January 12, 2024 at 2:30 pm

John Wayne King, 80, of the Hardison Mill / Pottsville community in Maury County, Tennessee, passed away January 1, 2024, at Maury Regional Medical Center.

John was born December 13, 1943, in Fayetteville, Tennessee to the late J.C. and Wilma King. He attended Robert E. Lee School in the first grade before the family moved to Nashville in 1949 and lived there until returning to Fayetteville in 1954. He continued his grade school education at Robert E. Lee for the seventh and eighth grades, then attended Central High School from which he graduated in 1961. Following two years at Belmont University in Nashville he enlisted in the United States Air Force in September 1963.

He was first assigned to the Strategic Air Command (SAC), 454th Combat Support Group with the 454th Bomb Wing in Columbus, Mississippi, famous for its award-winning B-52 and KC-135 aircraft and crews that played a primary role in the early years of the Vietnam War. He spent the first three years of his enlistment at the Columbus Air Force Base. That was followed by a one year tour in Turkey and Greece where he was assigned to TUSLOG, a cold war logistics operation, where he completed his enlistment in August 1967 as a Staff Sergeant in charge of officer evaluations.

In April of 1964, while on leave from the USAF, he was at his parents’ photography studio in Fayetteville. They made the senior pictures for Central High School and had on display a few of the current class pictures. His eye was drawn one particular photograph, that of Wanda Mitchell. He knew immediately that she was meant for him. They were married on September 20, 1964, and spent almost 53 years together before Wanda’s sudden illness and passing on May 18, 2017. Over the years they worked together in various services and retail businesses in Nashville, Franklin and Fayetteville. Their primary business, which operated for 35 years, was J. King & Associates that provided administrative, investigative and liquidation services to Trustees, Federal and State Courts as well as banks and other financial institutions. John and Wanda enjoyed many things, especially the solitude of their home in their country. Other interests included traveling, church activities, conservative politics, collecting antiques, fishing, reading, game nights with the extended family, gardening, and their numerous pets over the years. They were members of First Baptist Church in Lewisburg.

He was an at-large life member of Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) and a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans Holman-Boone Camp 152. John particularly enjoyed working with youth. His first experience was as the football and basketball coach at Crieve Hall School in Nashville during the time he was attending college. That was followed by being a Scoutmaster with the Trans-Atlantic Council while stationed in Turkey and Greece. Later he and Wanda spent two years on staff at the Tennessee Baptist Children’s Home in Brentwood. In subsequent years, at different churches, he worked with youth in mission outreach as an activities director and Sunday school teacher. He was an ordained deacon and served in several capacities before retiring in 2009.

In addition to his wife and parents, he was preceded in death by a son, Michael Judson King.

Survivors include his son, Dr. Chris King of New York, New York; brother: Ben King (Regina) of Fayetteville, Tenn.; sister: Angela Sims (Bobby) of Eads, Tenn.; and numerous nieces and nephews.

The funeral service was held in Fayetteville, Tennessee at Gallant-Riverview Funeral Home on Saturday, January 6, 2024, at 12:00 p.m. with burial following in Riverview Memorial Gardens. Visitation was Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Samaritan’s Purse, P.O. Box 3000, Boone North Carolina  28607.Gallant-Riverview Funeral Home, 508 W. College St, Fayetteville, Tenn. 37334. Online condolences at