Jean King, who dedicated her to life her family, was a secret writer

Monday, June 2, 2014 | 7:40 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Jean King liked to cook.

During Christmastime, she would have a list of friends and acquaintances who would receive her homemade packages of cookies and candy, with plenty left over for her family. It was only a portion of her holiday cooking, which also included a Christmas dinner for 30 to 40 people.

Jean King"She just cooked a lot, and it was always good," her son, Rick King, said. "She was the kind that when you’d go to her house to eat, she would be the last to sit down."

Dorothy Jeanette Weisenborn King of Columbia died Friday, May 30, 2014. She was 88. 

She was born April 8, 1926, in Macon to Charles and Elizabeth Weisenborn. She married Don King on Oct. 12, 1946. 

Mrs. King was the sixth of seven siblings and cared for several children of her own with her husband. Family was important to Mrs. King, and her youngest sister, Helen Malizia, said she was always protective of her.

"When she was in the first grade and I was going to have my first birthday, she invited the whole class at school to come to the birthday party for me,” she said.

Mrs. King worked as an office manager and as an accountant for the King family businesses, which included several service stations, Rick King said.

She was also a founding member of the Community United Methodist Church along with her husband, and sang in the church's choir until her later years, Malizia said. She was a Methodist all her life, and she shared her faith with her family.

Mrs. King also had a hidden talent that she did not often share with others, including her family members. When her husband died in 1998 after 52 years of marriage, she shared her gift for writing in a rare message to her granddaughter about his death.

"Just think how gentle and nice it is when the snowflakes fall and touch your cheek when it snows in the winter," the letter read. "Could that be his gentle touch? It is just a light finger touch on the cheek telling you of his love."

Rick King said it was a "special thing" when she would write this way, and it was always meaningful when she did. 

"She could write and communicate through written words better than she could speak," he said.

Mrs. King is survived by three daughters, Donna Kluzek of Albuquerque, N.M., Cindy Shaneberger of Wentzville and Jeanette Jayne of Kansas City; two sons, Rick King of Columbia and Kevin King of El Dorado Springs; a sister, Helen Malizia of Rocheport; 18 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren. 

Her husband, Don King, and a son, Randall, died earlier.

Visitation will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Business Loop 70 W. Services will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Community United Methodist Church, 3301 W. Broadway. Burial will be at 2 p.m. at Oakwood Cemetery in Macon. 

Memorial contributions can be made to your favorite charity or to Community United Methodist Church, 3301 W. Broadway, Columbia, MO 65203.

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