On Saturday May 28, 2016, the King family will host a memorial service at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome for Bill King. The service will be held on the airfield, under the picnic tent. The gathering will commence at 2:00 PM with a memorial fly-over beginning at 2:30 PM. Friends, family and the public are all invited. Please check in at the airfield ticket booth when you arrive.
Longtime Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome stalwart Bill King passed away on February 5th. Bill was at various times an ORA pilot, mechanic, volunteer, board member, cheerleader, and mentor. First coming to the Aerodrome in 1962, Bill has had a longer continuous influence at ORA than any other individual in the history of the organization. In the overall greater sphere of involvement, inclusion of his late brother Richard (Dick), his sons David and Andrew, and his nieces and nephews Lori, Robin, Matt and Geoff (all regulars at ORA) cements the King family as the most important group of individuals to have ever participated at ORA , save for perhaps Cole & Rita Palen themselves.
Bill first came to ORA on the advice of his brother Dick, and in the resulting years became a steady contributor to the museum and airshows, being a regular pilot in his personally owned DeHavilland Tiger Moth, as well as the museum’s Hanriot, Curtiss Jenny, Curtiss Fledgling, Albatros and many others.
Bill was active at the Aerodrome right up until his final days, attending airshows with his beloved wife Jane, watching David fly his Moth, helping to critique the acts and participating in briefings and debriefings as a coach and mentor to the current pilot corps, staff and volunteers. Over the winter Bill was able to visit and observe the museum’s long awaited Spirit of St. Louis on one of its early flight tests.
He was always a gentleman, patient to a fault, often a conciliator and represented the best of what might be termed, “the Aerodrome spirit.” We all will miss him dearly and extend our sincerest condolences to the King family.
Funeral arrangements are forthcoming.
A Memorial Service will be held at Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome in the History of Flight building on Saturday, May 28th, 2016. It will be a public gathering.
In addition to the public memorial service on Saturday, the Aerodrome’s first airshow of 2016, on June 11th, will be dedicated to the memory and held in honor of Bill King.
The following obituary was published on February 6th (http://hannemannfuneralhome.com/book-of-memories/2374135/King-William/obituary.php):
William E. King, 86, of Valley Cottage, NY, died peacefully on February 5th at home after a long illness. Bill was born in Herkimer, NY on Easter Sunday in March 1929, the oldest of the six children of William T. and Evelyn Davis King. He could tell countless tales about growing up in a small town during the tough times of the Depression. After graduating from Herkimer High School in 1947, where he was a 3-letter athlete, he worked as a car mechanic for the Cadillac Oldsmobile dealer and was active in the NY National Guard both as a weekend warrior and a fulltime mechanic before he started college at SUNY Oswego in 1955. Upon graduation he took a position teaching industrial arts and technical drawing in the Tarrytown, NY school system, a job he loved, where he stayed for the next 30 years. In 1969-70 he and his family spent a year in Bolton, England, where he was a Fullbright Exchange teacher.
He was an active radio control modeller for many years, and was a founding member of the Rockland County Radio Control Club, competed in many meets, and appeared on the cover of Model Airplane News with one of his plane in 1967. In the early sixties he became involved with Cole Palen’s Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, a flying museum of antique airplanes. He got his mechanic’s license and his pilot’s license, and was active there for 50 years until 2015 on the ground and in the air, flying his own 1944 Tiger Moth among other vintage planes. He also owned a series of slightly more modern airplanes, which he and his wife enjoyed flying over the Hudson River Valley and in Vermont.
In 1959 he married Jane Wilson and had three children. He is survived by his wife, his son David T. King and wife Sheila of Red Hook, NY, son Andrew D. King and his companion of many years, Julie Appleby, of Vienna, Virginia. His daughter, Alice O. King predeceased him. His sons both are active flyers in the antique airplane field; his daughter raced motorcycles. They did not fall far from the tree.
His brothers Richard and Theodore and a sister, Esther, predeceased him. He is survived by his sisters, Delores Swiger of Herkimer, NY and Mary Hart of Nashville, Tennessee, many in-laws and three generations of nieces and nephews. And many, many wonderful friends.