IN MEMORIAM: The Rev. W. Alan King '58


The Rev. W. Alan King, Class of 1958 and former member of the Board of Trustees and Alumni Executive Committee of The General Theological Seminary, died on April 17, 2014. The following obituary was provided by his family: It is with sadness that we share with you the news of the passing of the Rev. W. Alan King, age 81, on Maundy Thursday, April 17, in Edgewater, Florida.

Born in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, son of William and Louise (McKnight) Alan grew up in Belleville, New Jersey. He received a degree in chemistry from Rutgers University, class of ’54.  Trading test tubes for theology, as a Methodist, he studied at Drew Theological Seminary, Madison, New Jersey.  King spent transformational time at Iona and Taize before being confirmed in the Episcopal Church and transferring to General Seminary, class of ’58. Ordained in the diocese of Newark, he served as curate in St. Luke’s, Kalamazoo, Michigan, then concurrently as Vicar of St. Alban’s and St. Patrick’s missions in Monroe and West Monroe, Louisiana. There he oversaw the relocation and development of new facilities and growth for each.

King returned home to the Diocese of Newark as rector of St. Martin's Church in Maywood New Jersey from 1964 until 1986. He was a founder, incorporator and treasurer of Lydecker Manor, Maywood’s senior housing corporation. A Trustee of Youth Consultation Service he served 12 years on the Holley Child Care Center, Hackensack, N.J. Leaving St. Martin’s as Rector Emeritus he answered the call to serve as Vicar at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Wantage until his retirement in 1995. During his tenure there, he again oversaw the construction of new church facilities, relocating the congregation which grew significantly. Throughout he filled numerous leadership positions in the Diocese of Newark, among them serving 5 years as Bishop’s Deputy for Asian Ministry. The core of his ministry above all, was as a pastor, counselor and loving presence to his congregants.

In 2002-2003 his local congregation in retirement, St. Peter the Fisherman Church, New Smyrna Beach, Florida, persuaded him to be interim Rector, his last official charge. Again, a congregation rebuilding facilities.

King maintained his ties to General Seminary – through part-time graduate studies, then for 12 years as a member of the Executive Committee of the Alumni Association, the last six as secretary. His vision of the seminary as a 'present help' as well as a 'happy memory' to its alums led to his chairmanship of the committee to develop the video series “Hear Thy Servants” with professional work being done by seminary faculty and staff. The development of Continuing Education Week ensued. In 1989 the alumni elected him to a three-year term on the Board of Trustees.

Much to his delight in honor of his 80th birthday his children arranged with Jonathan Silver for a special tour of the new facilities and location of his signature in the Book of Matriculation.

Married 3 days after graduation, he is survived by his wife Audrey (Maise), daughters Mary Beth King, the Rev. Kathryn King, and Margaret King; son John and his wife Pamela. Four grandchildren, Megan, Nicholas, Stephanie and John Jr.

Funeral services were held in New Smyrna Beach on April 21, 2014. A Memorial service in New Jersey will be held at a later date. The family requests Memorials be made to GTS. Condolences may be sent to: Mrs. W. Alan King, 627 Starboard Ave., Edgewater, Florida 32141