Gary Lee King
August 16, 1946 – October 13, 2021
Gary Lee King, devoted Husband, Father, and Grandfather “Pap”, died at age 75 on October 13, 2021, at his home in Brandon, Mississippi. A graveside service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, October 15th, at Crestview Memorial Gardens at 1106 Star Road, Brandon, MS.
Gary was born as one of five children to Enid L. King and Margaret J. McDowell King on August 16, 1946 in Jefferson City, Missouri. While growing up, his family moved to Mississippi. He graduated from Central High School in Jackson, Mississippi. During his teenage years, he worked at his family’s appliance sales and service company, but always dreamed of becoming a soldier and defending our country. That dream was fulfilled when he enlisted in the United States Army National Guard in Jackson, Mississippi on November 8, 1964. Less than 10 months later, Gary transferred and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps on July 1, 1965.
After basic training, Gary was sent to Vietnam as part of the H&S Company, 2nd Recon Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, out of Camp Lejeune. Gary served as a machine gunner honorably through his tour of duty, surviving many harrowing firefights. He never complained about the hardships of service, but would jokingly quip that they must have thought it funny to make him, at only 155 pounds, carry a heavy M60 machine gun the entire time. When asked about his service, he mentioned that he only slept in a bed 4 nights out of the entire 13-month tour of duty. God was with Gary, and he returned home safely, receiving an honorable discharge as a Sergeant, receiving the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Campaign and Service Medals with a star, and the Expert Badge.
Gary’s life of service continued after the Marines. Back in Mississippi, he joined the Mississippi Highway Patrol, serving the state from 1968-1974. During that time he continued his education and obtained a criminal justice degree from Delta State. After that, he served as an officer with the Jackson Police Department from 1974 to 1994.
Gary met the love of his life, Diane, and on October 19, 1978, they were wed. God blessed Gary with three children, Shane King , Amy King Smith, and Katie King Nations. Gary was devoted to his family, often sacrificing and working two jobs in order to provide for them. At home, he was equally devoted, loving to cook for family and friends, as well as manning the grill and smoker for family events. He was the “life of the party,” loved westerns, especially John Wayne, and also enjoyed singing to entertain others.
Gary was predeceased by his parents, and his siblings, Charles Edgar King and Billie Dan King. He is survived by his siblings, Edie Weathersby and Robert King; his wife, Mildred Diane King; and his children, Amy King Smith, and Katie King Nations, and Shane King. Gary is also survived with several grandchildren: Kinsley Nations , Tanner King , Lyndon Nations , Baylor Nations , Noah Smith and Sloan Smith.
In lieu of lowers, donations may be made to The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation at JDRF.
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