Vernon Ray King, 87, a lifelong resident of Albuquerque, passed away Monday, March 16, 2020. Vernon and his twin sister, LaVerne, were born December 3, 1932, to W.A. and Lovie King. Vernon was preceded in death by his wife of 46 years, Janet Mc. King. He is survived by his sister LaVerne Moser and many cousins, nieces and nephews with whom he had a loving affection for each and everyone. As a youth in the Boy Scouts of America, he earned the rank of Eagle Scout and continued on as an Explorer Scout and was inducted into the Order of the Arrow. He graduated from Albuquerque High School in class of 1950. He lettered in Ice Hockey, and upon graduation, he became the hockey team coach. He was a graduate of the University of New Mexico, earning a BBA degree from the Anderson School of Management. At UNM, ice hockey was a sanctioned, but not an official school sport. Vernon played in the '52 and '53 seasons. He was an active member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. After graduation, he served in the United States Air Force and began a memorable aviation career as a fighter pilot in both the Air Force and later in the New Mexico Air National Guard. Vernon was especially proud to have been one of the original "Taco" pilots flying F-100 fighter aircraft with the 188th Tactical Fighter Squadron during the Vietnam War. During his tour of combat duty, he was twice awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Air Medal with two Silver and one Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster. As a civilian, he held an FAA Commercial Pilot's License with an Instrument Rating. After his military career, he and his wife were involved in retail liquor and food establishments, the most notable of which was the founding and development of the destination dining room and lounge, "The Olde Co-op Saloon" in Estancia, New Mexico. Vernon ended his business career as a Tax Analyst, working fifteen years in the Tax & Audit Department of Cardinal Health, a Fortune 500 Company and a national distributor of medical supplies and pharmaceuticals. Throughout his life, he always said that his most cherished possessions were his family and the bonds established among lifelong friends, former classmates, business associates and the brotherhood and admiration he shared with his many fellow pilots. His wealth truly was his many friends and he will long be remembered as a true and loyal Amigo. Vernon was baptized into the Christian faith and developed an early fascination for exploring the history of most of the world's major religions. He conducted himself according to the tenets of Christianity, the moral standards by which he based his entire life. Cremation will take place and due to the worldwide circumstances at this time, the memorial and burial services will be scheduled at a later date at the Santa Fe National Cemetery, where Vernon will be interred next to his wife.
To view information or leave a condolence please visit www.danielsfuneral.com
Daniels Family Funeral Services
7601 Wyoming Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109
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