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Serving the Community Since 1960

Memorial Service: 4:00 p.m., Saturday, July 25, 2020

Location: Weymouth Funeral Home

Mary Jane King passed away peacefully July 5, 2020, surrounded by loved ones at home, at the age of 91. Born 12/7/1928, she was raised in Mebane, North Carolina, the youngest of six siblings.  Her competitive spirit emerged in high school when she starred on her three time county champion HS basketball team, 1946-48.  Her selfless nature first shined when she became a registered nurse at the Knoxville City Hospital of Nursing, followed by working as a mid-wife.  While in nursing school, Ms. King bought her first set of golf clubs at age 24 as a way to meet people and have fun.

 

Mary Jane was introduced to the love of her life, Bill King, in 1957 by Mary Lou King, a fellow nurse and Bill’s sister. They were married in 1957, and Mary Jane gave up her nursing career to start a family in Northern Virginia.  With three boys in tow, the family moved to the Peninsula in 1964. On her first day in Newport News, Mary Jane introduced herself to a neighbor, Marion Spielberger, starting a lifelong family friendship. That theme repeated itself many times over with other families and individuals in Ivy Farms and the Peninsula. As mom’s often do, Mary Jane centered her life around raising her boys. She had the boys in sports, oversaw their homework, took the family to church, volunteered at school, and participated in the PTA. She made their Ivy Farms home a place where everyone in the neighborhood was always welcome.

 

Once the boys were in school, Mary Jane decided to take golf seriously so in 1969 she joined the Old Hampton Ladies Golf Association.  Mary Jane and Bill also joined the Williamsburg Country Club and began playing golf together and as a family. This was the start of something very special. Golf would become Mary Jane’s way to satisfy her desire for competition, meet people and give to others.

 

In 1970 Mary Jane won her first golf award at the WCC.  Many more golfing awards were to follow including two hole-in-ones and a best score of 66 at the age of 64.  Her top golfing accomplishments were: Virginia State Senior Amateur Champion in 1985 and 86; runner up in 1983 and 1988, and medalist in 1989, 1990 and 1992;

Peninsula Woman’s Champion in three separate decades (1979, 88 and 92); played in 6 USGA Senior Amateur Championships; won the James River CC Women’s Club Champion 10 times, and club champion at Langley AFB (3 times), Deer Run (twice), and the Woodlands (twice).

 

Mary Jane would tell you that her greatest enjoyment was teaching junior golfers which she did for 30 years. She taught many hundreds of kids to play golf by starting the junior golf programs at Langley AFB and the Newport News Golf Course, and worked with junior programs at James River and Williamsburg CC.   Mary Jane sponsored the Peninsula Woman’s Golf Championship which began in 1978 so that women in the area would have a major tournament of their own.  She remained Tournament Director for 35 years until 2012.  In 1979, Mary Jane prodded Eric Shiel, PGA pro at Newport News GC, to have City Council build women’s tee boxes because the course was too long for women.  Tee boxes in, she formed the Deer Run Woman’s Golf Association in 1982 with over 155 founding members. She did this to make golf available to women who could not afford a country club membership.  When Putt-Putt was still the craze, Mary Jane held a golf tournament to raise money, then lead a community effort to build a “Handi-Putt” miniature golf course at the Patrick Henry Hospital Nursing Home. She did this so that residents and others in wheel chairs could enjoy golf and compete.  When Mary Jane held a golf tournament, she tirelessly solicited prizes and made sure they were equally distributed across all flights.  She wanted everyone to have fun and she persistently pushed free lessons on anyone who expressed any interest in playing golf.

 

Mary Jane also became a passionate creator of intricate jewelry and was accomplished in all steps of cutting and polishing gemstones, setting stones, and fusing glass. She would surprise many a friend by gifting beautiful jewelry and created fused glass earrings for every participant in her annual golf tournament. 

 

Mary Jane is now reunited with PaPa Bill, her loving and devoted husband of nearly 60 years.  Mary Jane King leaves behind three sons, Kevin, Kenny (Lea Ann), and David (Stacey); a fourth “brother,” Greg Kelly; six grandchildren, Sarah, Rachel, Zachery, Christian, Ashton, and Erica; three great-grandchildren; and “daughters” Debbie and Kim.  Affectionately referred to by her grandchildren as MeMe, Mary Jane will be deeply missed by all of her family and all those fortunate to have been touched by her through the years.

 

The King brothers would like to express their deepest appreciation to all of Mom’s caregivers — Deon, Jackie, Amanda, Claudia, Crystal, Kim, Anita, and many others—all of whom provided outstanding love and comfort for Mom during her final years, months, and days. Chuck and Meegan, thanks for being such caring neighbors.

Special thanks to Sally Blackburn and Sue Bellis for the many years assisiting with the Peninsula Woman’s Golf Championship. 

 

An outside Memorial Service (weather permitting) will be held at 4pm on Saturday, July 25, 2020 at Weymouth Funeral Home. The King family will receive friends following the service. Arrangements by Weymouth Funeral Home.  Masks and social distancing are required. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Charcot-Marie-Tooth Association at cmtausa.org.

 

“Old Golfers Never Die, They Just Tee Off”

 

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Veronica Weymouth
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