Royce King, an active member of the Caldwell County community for the last 20 years, died Wednesday, Dec. 4, in Lockhart.
He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Katherine O’Byrne King, and sons, David Royce King and wife, Patricia Yznaga, of New Braunfels, and Christopher Mark King and wife, Terre Kirks, of Austin.
He had five grandchildren: Kristin Marie Cox and husband, Chris, of Austin, Patrick Hector King, of Austin, Dustin Michael King, and wife, Ashlie, of Austin, Alejandro David King, of Chicago, and Kevin Mitchell King, of Waco. He also had five great-grandchildren.
Visitation with family members was held at O’Bannon Funeral Home in Luling, at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, and a funeral Mass was celebrated on Saturday at 10 a.m. at St. John’s Catholic Church in Luling. Burial was at the Mineral Springs Cemetery in Joliet.
Dr. King was born on Jan. 20, 1932, in Troup, Texas, to Roy Melton King and Louise Braly King. He was preceded in death by his parents, as well as sister Mary Lynn Moore, and brothers Kenneth Ray King and Dr. J.D. King.
King, who attended East Texas State on a basketball scholarship, was in the Army from 1954-56. He completed basic training at Fort Bliss, Texas and was stationed in Japan. After his discharge, he married Katherine O’Byrne on Nov. 22, 1956, at St. Teresa’s Catholic Church in Gladewater, Texas.
A graduate of East Texas State University with bachelors and masters degrees, and Nova University with a doctorate, King lived in Austin from 1960 until his retirement, when he and his wife moved to the community of Joliet in Caldwell County. He served as a member of the Caldwell County Appraisal Board and the county Development Board and was a leader in the county Democratic party and Retired Teachers Association. He also worked with the food distribution committee of the Extension Education Association.
His first job in education was as a teacher and basketball coach at Bowie Junior High School in Amarillo, Texas. He then moved to a position as a media specialist at the San Angelo (Texas) Independent School District. Dr. King was one of three people who opened the Education Service Center Region 13 in 1967. King was associate director of the service center from its inception until his retirement in 1997. His specialties through the years included migrant and bilingual education, federal and state support for educational programs, and media services.
He served as an adjunct professor at St. Edward’s University and an instructor at Austin Community College and was a consultant to the Texas Retired Teachers Association and Associate Member Benefits Association.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Extension Education Food Distribution Program of Caldwell County; Clara Smith, Chair; 5010 Texas Highway 80; Luling, Texas 78648.