Michael (Mike) Joseph King passed away peacefully in his sleep after a short bout with pneumonia at the age of 93.
He is survived by his sons, Gary (Lorna) and Glen (Christine) King. Mike was predeceased by his wives, Marion (1976), and Allisen (2014); parents and brother, Stanley.
Mike grew up in Toronto where he met and married the love of his life, Marion Taggart in the late forties. When they married, he told Marion if I could make fifty dollars a week for the rest of my life I would be happy. It was then he started his football career with the Toronto Argonauts.
During World War Two, Mike served in the Armed Forces making it only as far as Toronto Island just off downtown Toronto. When asked if he served overseas in the war Mike liked to brag I served over the water. This humorous twist on things never left him as he bragged about beating Tom Watson at golf and John Wayne at fishing; the devil was in the details.
Mike spent most of his adult life in Edmonton. He joined the newly formed Edmonton Eskimos in 1950. He played with the Edmonton Eskimos for 8 years, winning 3 Grey Cups, 1954, 55, & 56 and was a CFL western all-star for 3 years. When asked his position he would joke, Drawback and Way back; all for $5000 in his best year. Mike was most certainly the last surviving member of an Eskimo team that put Edmonton on the Canadian sports map.
In 1957 he answered an Edmonton Journal ad for a bookkeeper shortly thereafter joining Canadian Kenworth, an opportunity that would ultimately be life changing. Mike spent the next 25 years with Kenworth, having various managerial positions in Edmonton, Toronto and Vancouver. He moved back to Edmonton in 1982 when the opportunity arose to buy the Edmonton operation from Canadian Kenworth. Over the next 35 years Edmonton Kenworth grew with Alberta to five locations and from 50 to 450 employees before the current downturn. He was a meticulous dresser, always wearing a tie and jacket to the office. The man had standards not matched today.
Mike remarried in 1976 to Allisen, after the death of his wife Marion; Allisen passed away in March of 2014.
He spent his weekends golfing at the Derrick Country Club, always demanding strokes and being accused of being a sandbagger as he was very competitive and hated to lose. Anyone who ever played golf with Mike will readily acknowledge he spent as much time looking for golf balls as actually golfing.
Mike was always quick to find someone to go for lunch at his favorite place, the Edmonton Petroleum Club, and he never passed on the rice pudding for desert.
Mike enjoyed spending his later years wintering in Arizona with Allisen but never left EKW far behind, even when age and Dementia started to take their toll. He spent his last 11 years at the Touchmark Wedgewood nursing home.
To his personal longtime caregivers, Lucita, Maria, Jerry, Shem and Narcissa a special thank you for your daily care, compassion, and companionship.
Everyman should have a passion and Edmonton Kenworth was his.
A Memorial Service will be held at the Edmonton Country Club with a tentative date of Tuesday, April 30.