William Heilman King, 94, of Port Charlotte, Fla., passed away Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012.
He was born June 30, 1917, in Sharon, Pa., son of William B. and Leona (Koechler) King.
William was a graduate of Sharon High School in Pennsylvania, Westminister College in New Wilmington, Pa., with a bachelor of Public School Music, and the University of Michigan with a master’s in Music Education. He taught and supervised school music in Pennsylvania for a total of 37 years. In addition, William led a band at Edinboro, Pa., State Teachers College. Under his direction, the male glee club in Albion, Pa., won second-place honors in a statewide contest. William started a chapter of Modern Music Masters in the Albion schools. He served two terms on their national executive committee. The Albion Chapter had a band exchange program, known as Bands Across the Border, with a high school in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Bill’s marching bands participated in many college band days in western Pennsylvania.
He held memberships in United Steel Workers of America, American Federation of Musicians, Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (served as Officer) and National Education Association. Bill was a life member of the Pennsylvania State Education Association Retired and Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a field musician. Bill was selected to play Taps at the official Pearl Harbor Memorial Service on Dec. 7, 1945. Through the years in Pennsylvania, along with his teaching duties, Bill worked as a choir director, a big band and combo musician, a steelworker, highway construction worker and in a railroad yard.
After moving to Port Charlotte, in 1979, he joined the choir at First Presbyterian Church in Port Charlotte, later serving as church administrator. Bill joined the Cultural Center Chorus and became a charter member of the Charlotte Chorale. He served First Presbyterian Church of Punta Gorda, Fla., as an interim choir director after which he became choir director at Pilgrim United Church of Christ for nine years. Bill later directed the Pilgrim Church Bell Choir. During his years of service at the church, he played piano at many services, substituting for the regular church organist.
Bill is survived by his loving family including his daughters, Anna Marie King of Boca Raton, Fla., and Denise (Russell) Culbertson of Amity, Pa.; grandson, William Culbertson; granddaughter, Elizabeth (Dominick) DeStasio; and two great-granddaughters, Paige and Hailey DeStasio. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mildred King in 2010, following more than 70 years of marriage; grandson, Cpl. Russell Culbertson, was killed in 2006, while serving in Iraq; and four infant daughters.
The family will receive friends from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m., Friday, Feb. 24, 2012, at the Charlotte Memorial Funeral Home, 9400 Indian Springs Rd. A service to celebrate Bill’s life will be held at 11 a.m., at the funeral home. Another service to celebrate his life will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012, at the Pilgrim Church of Christ. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Wounded Warrior Project, 4899 Belfort Rd., Suite 300, Jacksonville, FL 32256, www.woundedwarriorproject.org. Please visit www.charlottefuneralhomeandcemetery.com to extend condolences to the family.
Arrangements are by Charlotte Memorial Funeral Home.