6/21/2014 Saturday, 2:00pm at the El Paso Masonic Lodge No. 13, 1150 Panorama Dr. Colorado Springs, CO
Otis John King Jr., MD
August 12, 1926 :: Council Bluffs, Iowa
June 2, 2014 :: Colorado Springs, Colorado
“Jack” was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa, to Otis J. King and Berniece (Eriksen) King. He grew up in the sand hills of Nebraska and he would say he never knew there was any other way to make a living that being a cowboy. But when his family moved to Denver during his high school years, he learned of more choices.
He began his military life at West Point, resigning when he felt “all the wars in the world bad been fought,” and returned to Denver Where he graduated from Denver University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1949, and Colorado University School of Medicine in 1952. His internships and residencies in General and Cardiovascular and Thoracic surgery were completed at Wayne County General Hospital in Detroit. During these years, feeling an obligation to the country he loved, he served in the Navy, including being the Battalion Surgeon for a Marine Artillery Unit, and the Air Force during the Korean War. He never saw combat but would always say “I was ready to go if called.”
He began his private practice in General Surgery in Colorado Springs in 1960, also holding teaching appointments at the CU Medical School 1960-1974, and consultant for Thoracic/Cardiovascular Surgery at Fort Carson 1964-1974. He was a delegate to the Colorado Medical Society for many years, and Chief of Staff a Memorial Hospital in 1970.
Closing his private practice in 1988 was a very difficult decision as he loved the practice of medicine and his contact with patients. He spent the next 6 years practicing Emergency Medicine at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center in Aurora, Colorado.
During his personal time he loved flying as a commercial pilot, riding many, many motorcycles, skiing, shooting, camping and enjoying the companionship of his friends, dogs and wife Bonnie (Butler) King who he married in 1980. (Only he could tell you which order these were in!)
Organizations which he was involved with and enjoyed many friendships through, were the QB’s “Quiet Birdmen”, Soil Savers, Masonic Lodge, Al Kaly Shrine.
He was a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Charter Life Member of the American Motorcycle Association, and Endowment Member of the NRA.
A long time very close friend, who first met Jack as teenager, gave me the following note she would have shared with him: “This is how I describe you to someone that never had the privilege of meeting you: He was a good and steadfast person-dedicated physician, attentive husband, honorable soldier, devoted patriot, patient teacher and teller of tales from days long past. Jack King took his inner strength from what some thought of as ‘The code of the West’. Live each day with courage. Do what has to be done. Take pride in your work. When you make a promise, keep it. Talk less and say more, and remember some things aren’t for sale.”