Billy A. King, 91, of Fort Worth, continued to his eternal life peacefully to be with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on July 28, 2022, from a brain trauma after a fall. He was born to Evalena (Esters) and Bill Arthur King on Nov. 7, 1930, in Johnson County, Texas.
Bill was born again at the age of 8 when he received our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
He was a member of Retta Baptist Church and later New Hope Baptist Church.
He grew up in Rendon and graduated from Mansfield Highschool in 1948. He enlisted in the United States Air Force and honorably served his country for four years and then continued his education at Trimble Tech Trade School in Fort Worth to become an AC and refrigeration engineer. He was chief engineer with U.S. Cold Storage, Riverside Ice, Rodriguez Refrigeration, Winn Dixie and Vandervort's Ice Cream company, to name a few. Needless to say, he was "always cool."
Bill met and later married the love of his life, Annie Pearl Williams, on April 4, 1954, in her home of Quemado Valley, Texas. Together they raised four sons traveling from their home in Texas to Nebraska, Tennessee, South Carolina and back to Texas following his career.
He was quite the entertainer! A professional harmonica and a jew's harp player and carried them with him everywhere and sure could make both of them talk!
Known to many as the Harmonica King, he shared his musical gift playing at restaurants, stores, doctor's offices, nursing homes, hospitals and virtually everywhere he went he’d pull out his harmonica and ask someone "What's your favorite song?" He taught many how to play.
He also shared his musical talents with all four of his sons and they traveled as the HarmoniKings playing shows across the states. The group was featured on live radio numerous times in Tennessee and participated in a contest to play a live show on television and were awarded second place.
Bill performed at the Grapevine Opry, Stephenville Opry and played in Branson, Missouri, and multiple retirement and nursing homes, to name a few. He was an invited guest at the Grand Ole Opry and met the father of bluegrass Bill Monroe along with Roy Acuff, Grandpa Jones, Minnie Pearl, Connie Smith and others. Back in 1959, Willie Nelson, then a traveling encyclopedia salesman, knocked on Bill and Anne's door to make a sale and Willie ended up bringing his guitar back and they played music together. In the same year Bill recorded with Howard Crockett on the Manco Record Label a 45 record playing his harmonica in the songs Slew Foot the Bear and Polly Ann.
He made people laugh all the time. He was a wonderful Paw Paw to his seven grandchildren and G-Paw to his nine great grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Evalena and Bill Arthur King, and brother Oren King.
He leaves behind to cherish his memory his loving wife of 68 years, Annie; sons, Karl, Faron, Bruce and Paul and wife, Sally; brother Milton and wife Peggy; and numerous extended family members and friends.
Visitation will be held at Blessing Funeral Home in Mansfield, Texas, from 6-8 p.m. Aug. 5 and services are at 1:30 p.m. Aug. 6 at Blessing Funeral Home in Mansfield, then the funeral procession to Cope Cemetery in Johnson County and then food and fellowship at New Hope Baptist Church on Dick Price Road afterward. In lieu of flowers, we are requesting donations to be sent to The Ministry for Widows and Orphans at Fair Park Baptist Church, 6000 Crowley Road, Fort Worth, Texas 76134.
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