May 17, 1932 - June 18, 2021
Rachel Ann Maples King, of Leighton, Alabama, died peacefully at home on June 18, 2021. Born on May 17, 1932, Mrs. King left a legacy of love, joy, peace and happiness in her wake of eighty-nine years. Mrs. King is preceded in death by her husband of sixty-four years, Dr. Charles Cooper King, Jr., her son, Dr. Charles Cooper King III, her parents, Ruth Lorelle Jones Maples and Clyde Forrest Maples, and her sisters, Mary Ruth Maples Townsend (Horace) and Clara Nell Maples Howell (Simeon). Surviving are her daughter Leigh King Forstman (Keith) of Birmingham, Alabama; grandsons Charles Cooper King IV (Leah) of Muscle Shoals, Alabama; William Worth King of Decatur, Alabama; Hartwell King Forstman of Birmingham, Alabama; great-granddaughters Emmy Reese King and Lila Elizabeth King of Muscle Shoals, Alabama; and former daughter-in-law Karen Proctor King Voss (Ronnie) of Florence, Alabama. Mrs. King spent her childhood in Hartselle, Alabama, and the neighboring communities of Massey and Danville, where she cultivated an appreciation for the beauty of this earth and the grace of hospitality. She joined the National Audubon Society at a young age. Mrs. King was diminutive in stature, but profound in accomplishment, playing basketball on the Falkville High School team. Rachel graduated a year early from high school and continued her studies at Florence State Teachers College (now University of North Alabama), where she met the love of her life, Cooper. Education was paramount to Mrs. King. She made tremendous sacrifices to encourage and ensure that doctorate degrees were obtained by her husband (Ph.D., 1964), son (D.V.M., 1976) and daughter (J.D., 1990). Rachel and Cooper spent thirty-four years in Auburn, Alabama, where Dr. King was a Professor in the School of Agriculture Department of Agronomy at Auburn University. During those decades, Mrs. King was the consummate professional, serving as Office Manager, Comptroller and Corporate Officer of a local screenprinting corporation. Given her business prowess, she often taught and trained students from Auburn University. Beyond her impressive career, she served as President of the Auburn Campus Club, Director of the Auburn Chamber of Commerce, Charter Member and Officer of the Auburn Arts Association and member of the Auburn Woman’s Club. Mrs. King frequently decorated the Auburn University President’s Mansion for formal receptions and holiday gatherings. Following Dr. King’s retirement from Auburn University, he accepted a professorship with Tennessee Technological University, and the couple spent eleven years in Cookeville, Tennessee. Rachel remained immersed in the collegiate atmosphere and its activities. She served as President of the Tennessee Tech Women’s Club, Director of the Tennessee Arts Association, Director of the Tennessee Tech Symphony and member of Town and Gown. The couple moved back to Alabama in 1997. Rachel personally designed the two-story addition and renovation of Cooper’s old homeplace in Leighton, Alabama. She continued her pursuits of philanthropic work, donating scholarships, flower arranging, playing Bridge, Christmas decorating and giving historical programs. She was a Director of the Kennedy-Douglass Art Center, Director of the Tennessee Valley Art Center, and a member of the Maud Lindsay Study Club, Shoals Symphony Guild, Booklovers, Les Bonnes Vivantes Gourmet Club, Supper Club, Sewing Club, and Leighton Civic Club. Quite the gourmet chef, Rachel was known for her best ever caramel cake and her eye of round roasts with vegetables that were reserved weeks in advance of the annual Leighton Public Library Bake Sale. She was a member of P.E.O. AL Chapter X, TN Chapter L and AL Chapter S, having served as Treasurer of all three chapters, as well as other positions. Mrs. King was a well-respected historian and genealogist. She spent years researching the history of LaGrange College, the King Family, the Town of Leighton, Alabama, and Leighton United Methodist Church. Her work is preserved as Senior Editor of Our Heritage: The Children of Hartwell King and Burchet Curtis and through her many historical presentations. A common current throughout Rachel’s lifetime was her devotion and service to The United Methodist Church. While in high school, she was President of the Methodist Youth Fellowship Group of McKendree United Methodist Church. Along with Cooper, Rachel joined Auburn United Methodist Church, helped establish and build Grace United Methodist Church in Auburn, joined First United Methodist Church in Cookeville, Tennessee, and completed her journey as a member of Leighton United Methodist Church. Her tenure encompassed serving as Treasurer, Sunday School teacher, Choir member, Pianist and Organist, as well as planning, organizing, overseeing and completing significant committee work. Despite her numerous endeavors outside the home, Rachel found her heart and her treasure amidst her family. She created a home built on faith, filled with love, and infused with joy. As a quintessential hostess, she invited many to her home over the years to enjoy delicious meals and elegant parties. She knew how to delight the senses with artistic tablescapes, culinary cuisine, and the soft voice of her welcoming hospitality. Rachel was resplendent in beauty and effervescent in personality. Mrs. King was a peacemaker by nature. Her mediating ways and soft counsel as a confidante were trusted and desired by family, friends and professional colleagues. She was recognized as a stalwart within the community, a true matriarch deeply devoted to her husband, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, a role model for women in the professional realm, and a dedicated civic volunteer. Rachel lived her life in a way that honored God, humanity in all its diversity, and the virtues she held dear. Ever joyful, she simply was a triumph song of life. Pallbearers are James Gilbert Berryman, Gregg Preuit Blythe, Gordon Preuit Fennel, Bryan Keith Forstman, Timothy Garland Harrison, Fred Benjamin King, Lawrence Henderson King III and Derick Neal Silcox. Honorary pallbearers include Allen King Alsobrook, Dr. Marvin W. Barker, Ralph Edward Berryman, Gabriel Dewayne Carter, Richard Henry Davis, Ricky William Davis, Mark Lile Fennel, Billie Ray Fitzgerald, Roland Gene Gargis, Bennie Earl Grissom, Paul Glenn Henderson, Dr. Calvin M. Johnson, James Edward Jones, Paul Everett Jones III, James Briscoe King, Percy Madding King, Jr., Robert Allen King, William Allen King, William Challen King, Edward Fennel Mauldin, Jr., Leonard Preuit Mauldin, Macke Buchanan Mauldin, Albert Stephen Naughton, Sr., Anthony Jay Olivis, Dr. Kenneth R. Purdy, James Keith Quick, Charles Wilson Ray, Sr., Don Rickey Townsend, Larry Lamar Townsend, Troy Edward Trousdale, Peter Jerome Vials, Ronald Steven Voss and Thomas J. Watson. A Service of Remembrance and Celebration will take place at Leighton United Methodist Church on Saturday, June 26, 2021, at two o’clock in the afternoon with Reverend Mark Parris officiating. Interment will follow at the King Cemetery. Thereafter, family and friends are invited to a reception at the King Home in Leighton. In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to Leighton United Methodist Church, P. O. Box 648, Leighton, Alabama 35646.
Rachel Ann Maples King, of Leighton, Alabama, died peacefully at home on June 18, 2021. Born on May 17, 1932, Mrs. King left a legacy of love, joy, peace and happiness in her wake of eighty-nine years. Mrs. King is preceded in death by her... View Obituary & Service Information
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