A memorial service for Claude Edwin "Ed" King Jr., 77, of Tyler, will be held on Monday, June 23, 2014, at 11 a.m. at Green Acres Baptist Church Worship Center with Dr. Paul Powell and Dr. David Dykes officiating under the direction of Stewart Family Funeral Home.
Mr. King passed away peacefully at his home on Thursday, June 19, 2014.
He was born April 10, 1937, in Atlanta, Ga., to Claude Edwin and Ruby Odell Mann King.
Ed grew up in Atlanta, Ga., where he met the love of his life, Sandra, in high school. She was a cheerleader and he was a football player. They began their family while Ed worked 10 years as a firefighter
, then later began a career with Xerox where he was eventually transferred to Austin. In 1978, Ed became the first Chick-Fil-A franchisee in Longview, where his son, Chuck, still operates two locations. In 1983, Ed relocated to Tyler, where he began building a legacy that has benefited so many.
Mr. King is best known as the owner of two Chick-Fil-A locations in Tyler, but he was so much more than just a successful businessman. He was a generous philanthropist for many institutions and nonprofits including The Salvation Army, Breckenridge Village, Bethesda Health Clinic, Toys for Tots, Meals On Wheels, the East Texas Food Bank and Champions for Children. He received the Passion Award from The Salvation Army, the Tyler Chamber of Commerce's Small Businessman of the Year and the 2012 Community Builder Award from the Tyler Masonic Lodge. Ed was a member of Green Acres Baptist Church. He was a Southern gentleman and a devout Christian but first and foremost, a loving husband and father.
His life was extended with a heart transplant Ed received in 1999 through the gift of organ donation from a gracious family who chose to give life even through the death of their loved one.
Ed is survived by his loving family including his wife of 59 years, Sandra King, of Tyler; children, Chuck King and wife Rhonda, of Longview, Kellie Ronan, of Longview, and James King and wife Norma, of Flint; grandchildren, Josh Ronan and wife Amanda, of Lufkin, Jason Ronan, of Tyler, Katie Soape and husband Joel, of Longview, Braden King, of Longview, Corey King and Amanda King, of Flint, and Jeremy Johnston, of Whitehouse; great-grandchildren, Sydney Ronan, of Lufkin, and Macey Towery, of Longview; brother, John King, of Gay, Ga.
Pallbearers will be Josh Ronan, Jason Ronan, Braden King, Joel Soape, Corey King and Jeremy Johnston.
A reception is scheduled following the service on Monday, June 23, 2014, at Green Acres Baptist Church in the CrossWalk Center.
If desired, memorials may be made to Breckenridge Village, 15062 County Road 1145, Tyler, 75704; East Texas Food Bank, 3201 Robertson Road, Tyler, 75701; Bethesda Clinic, 409 W. Ferguson St., Tyler, 75702; Meals On Wheels, 3001 Robertson Road, Tyler, 75701; The Salvation Army, 633 N. Broadway Ave., Tyler, 75702; The Hospice of East Texas Foundation, 4111 University Blvd., Tyler, 75701; Southwest Transplant Alliance, 5489 Blair Road, Dallas, 75231; organ.org
; or a