Graveside services for Garth Byron King, 93, of Tyler will be on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, at 10 a.m. with the Rev. Gerry Giles officiating in Rose Hill Cemetery under direction of Stewart Family Funeral Home in Tyler.
Born May 23, 1919, in Temple to the late Pearle S. King and G. Byron King, Garth passed away Jan. 12, 2013. Garth was a graduate of Tyler High School and attended Tyler Junior College. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 68 years, Mary Earle King, and their infant son, William Ray King. He is survived by his two sons and daughters-in-law, Stephen C. King and Patricia King of Houston, David G. King and Marsha C. King of Atlanta, Ga.; and two granddaughters, Katherine "Kaki" King of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Karen King Pizel of Atlanta, Ga.
Part of the Greatest Generation, Garth enlisted in the 12th Air Force as a B25 Bomber pilot in World War II. On a mission over Italy, his aircraft was shot down by German artillery and he was captured. While en route to a concentration camp, he escaped captivity and ultimately joined the Italian Resistance, where he participated in the liberation of the concentration camp that would have been his destination. He was awarded the Bronze Star
for Bravery in Combat, and never failed to say that he "just had a job to do." He returned to the United States and trained pilots until the end of the war.
Garth resumed his civilian life in Tyler, and enjoyed a successful career as a sales manager for George Bane Machinery Co. Upon retirement at age 62, he embarked on another career as a professional driver, ultimately retiring from Enterprise Rentals at age 91.
The family sends a special thanks to Kenneth Jones, his friend and neighbor, whose support meant so much to both Garth and the family, and to Glenda Grubbs, whose loving care made Garth's journey much easier.
Visitation is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Stewart Family Funeral Home, 7525 Old Jacksonville Highway in Tyler.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to The Hospice of East Texas Foundation, 4111 University Blvd., Tyler, 75701.