April 1, 1928 – November 6, 2018
William A. King, 90, who until recently lived at Birch Lake, Vandalia, Michigan, died of natural causes on Tuesday, November 6th, 2018, at Primrose Retirement Community, Mishawaka, Indiana.
Bill was predeceased by his wife, Leila B. King, who died on March 8th, 2017. He is survived by: Karen (Suzy) King, daughter, and Robert (Bob) King, son, Leslie S. King, daughter-in-law, and Calvin S. King, grandson, all of whom reside in South Bend, Indiana.
Born April 1st, 1928 in Elkhart, Indiana to August W. King and Teresa K. Klein. Bill graduated from Elkhart High School and later earned his BS degree from Ball State Teachers College (now Ball State University) in Muncie, Indiana. Bill fell in love with Leila B. Misch and they married on October 21st, 1951.
Bill loved any sport with a ball. He lettered in high school football and track, later lettering in college football and track. A particular mark of pride for him was playing on the un-beaten / untied 1949 Ball State football team.
After graduating in 1950, Bill was drafted by one of football’s top pro teams (at the time), the Cleveland Browns. At 6’3″ 255 pounds, he was thought too small for the Cleveland line and got cut. Later in 1950, Bill played for the Indianapolis Tryons, a semi-pro team, and won Most Valuable Lineman.
When called to serve during the Korean War, football again served Bill as he was “pulled out of line” to play football for Army at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri. Bill was a member of the Army football and track teams which won their respective military Championships. He also participated in the All Services Tryouts, shot put event, for the 1952 Olympic Games.
Bill was recognized for his athletic excellence when inducted as a Charter Member in the first Ball State Hall of Fame class. The entire 1949 team was later inducted in the Ball State Hall of Fame as a group. Bill was also inducted in both the Elkhart County Hall of Fame and Indiana Hall of Fame for football.
On separation from the Army, while still in the Reserves, Bill joined Walter and Donald Misch at Misch Manufacturing Company in Mishawaka. The three eventually bought the business from founders Arthur, Walter, Sr. and Otto Misch and operated the precision tooling firm until their respective deaths.
Bill and Le made their home in South Bend, Indiana before moving to Birch Lake where they bought property in 1957. To protect the lake, Bill joined Herman Kruggel (Kruggel Lawton CPA) to open and operate Birch Lake Basketball Camp on the site of the former Camp Kiloqua, Mishawaka Camp Fire Girls Camp.
Organizations Bill served include: Boy Scouts of America; BSA – Tri Valley Council; South Bend Lodge #294, F. & A.M.; South Bend Lodge Scottish Rite; Mizpah Temple, AAONMS – Ft. Wayne; Mishawaka Shrine Club; Tarkington PTA; Mishawaka Family YMCA; Birch Lake Yacht Club; South Bend BPOE; BSU Alumni Association Board; and BSU Alumni Lettermen’s Association.
The family wants to express deep appreciation to everyone at Primrose Retirement Community in Mishawaka. The entire staff went beyond expectations, showing love for Bill and Le while in residence. Likewise, we very much appreciate the help of Heartland Hospice for their care.
Devoted husband, father, (doting) grandfather. You will be missed.
A celebration of Bill’s life will be held Sunday, November 11th, from 5-7:15 p.m., concluding with an Army flag ceremony at 7 p.m., at McGann Hay Granger Chapel. The address is 13260 SR 23, Granger, IN 46530. (Entrance located on Cherry Road, off of S.R. 23) 574-232-1411.
It was Bill’s wish that money spent go to good use. Please donate to Heartland Hospice in lieu of flowers. Mail to: 826 W Edison Rd, Mishawaka, IN 46545.