David Nelson King, 74, of Beaverdam Township, Haywood, passed away December 30 after a long, hard illness.
He was the only son of the late Mortimer N. and Alice Worley King, also of Haywood.
He was a warrior by birth. His ancestors originated in Ireland, the highlands of Scotland and Wales and the Normandy Coast of France where Vikings were given land grants by the French king in exchange for ending their ferocious attacks in their quest for fertile land.
His mother’s ancestors settled in the Piedmont of North Carolina with his eighth great-grandmother arriving from Ireland in 1714. They kept moving westward into the mountains, settling in Buncombe in the early 1800s where they farmed in the Turkey Creek section. His great-grandfather, Chester Worley and wife Genie West, farmed and raised 13 children on the slopes of Beaverdam mountain.
His father’s ancestors first came to Canada as trappers and fortune seekers in the early 1700s, later moving to New York and Massachusetts. Their grandsons fought and died in the American Revolution. One Yankee ancestor died at Vicksburg during the Civil War. His family eventually settled in Clyde.
David’s generation was the first not to be born on a small mountain farm because his parents found work in flourishing factories that dotted the region post WWII.
He served in the US Marine Corps during the Vietnam War era. He qualified as a sharpshooter and later became an expert on the use of small arms.
He performed electrical maintenance in Buncombe for Eaton, Westinghouse and Baldor, from which he retired.
David had strong convictions and could be both cordial and caustic, social and reclusive. He was a gentle, nurturing pet owner and deeply loved his dog Candi and cats Nikki and Pepper.
He was fiercely protective of his three sisters, Carolyn LeComte of Marietta, GA, and twins Marlene King, Canton, and Marilyn Gearheart, Candler.
Uncle David was gifted with nephews James Furness, Marietta, GA; Shawn Gearheart,
Lexington, SC; and Mark and Aaron Wood, Canton but his niece, Andrea Dudley of Charlotte was the apple of his eye. He loved Christmas when he was surrounded by the energy of his five grand nieces and three nephews: Jakob and Kelyn Furness, Noah Dudley, McCayla, Savannah, Averi, Rubi and Easton Wood.
He has not a clue what a big hole he leaves in our family circle.
David chose cremation, Wells Funeral Home, Canton. A celebration of life is set for August 3 at Beaverdam Baptist Church during the family’s reunion which will be open to the community in his honor. He was born August 7, 1949, in Haywood.
He will share the gravesite of his beloved father, Morty, also a Marine and combat veteran of WWII, earning a Purple Heart for wounds received in the Marshall Islands of the South Pacific.
His remains will be interred following the August 3 celebration of his life.