SARAH JEAN KING Obituary – Aug. 9, 1931


Funeral services for Sarah Jean King were 1 p.m. Saturday, March 14, at Christ Community Church The Pentecostals, with Terry Bell, Bro. Stan Smith, Mary Ann Priddy and Pastor Michael Rickenbaker officiating.
Burial followed in Chester County Memory Gardens. The family received friends at the church from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. service time on Saturday.
She was born Aug. 9, 1931 in Harris County, Texas, the third daughter of Ernest Rupert and Mary Ann Dawson Graves.
She was raised in Dyersburg, where her parents were involved with the ministry of the Pentecostal Church. In 1949 she graduated from Dyersburg High School. She later graduated from the University of TN School of Nursing in 1952.
While she was in Memphis, she worked at John Gaston Hospital and met Darrel Chambers King a medical student from Bemis. They married in 1953.
After a year of residency in Columbia, S.C., they moved to Henderson. In 1956, they purchased the Stedman Guy Clinic on White Avenue and changed the name to Henderson Clinic. Here she was in charge of the hospital portion of the clinic. She took care of the elderly patients, babies and new mothers. She assisted not only her husband but other physicians who delivered there. After the hospital portion closed in 1971, she continued to work there until 1978 when she went to work for West TN Health Care. She worked there in various positions until her retirement in 1999. She worked one year as acting director for the Chester County Nursing Home. After her retirement she dedicated her life and nursing skills to her husband, Darrel, until his death in 2006. They were married for 53 years.
She was a loving and devoted mother and grandmother, but more than anything, she was a passionate follower of Christ and a mighty prayer warrior. She led “Prayer Group” ——- for that is what it was known to all as ——in her home on Second Avenue every Tuesday night for over 30 years.
Her job hindered her regular church attendance so with every Tuesday off that became her regular church day. Everyone was invited, and she never knew how many would be there. People were welcomed with live music, fellowship, food and real Bible Study. There was always an endless supply of coffee. When asked what church she belonged to, she would reply “all of them” and really felt like she was a part of every church in the community.
Over the years she became an ardent red bird collector. Her love of red birds stemmed from a comment her Mother made shortly before her death in 1955. Birthdays and Christmases provided family and friends endless opportunities to gift her with a red bird. The collection included everything that could possibly involve a red bird.
In 2017 she moved to Southern Oaks Assisted Living. Prayer Group continued for a few more years there in her room. While at Southern Oaks, she spent much of her time reading and studying the Bible and corresponding with friends who had moved away. She sent words of encouragement to many, both young and old. Her birthday cards were famous for how she wrote in every blank space and the extra $1 she always included for seed money.
In Dec. 2019, after being diagnosed with a terminal condition, she moved to Chester County Health & Rehabilitation Center. There she spent almost three joy filled months visiting with family and friends who visited daily.
She is survived by three sons, Dr. Jim (Sandra) King of Selmer, Steve (Toni) King of Dallas, Ga., and Bobby (Teresa) King of Henderson; a daughter, Laura (Joe) Melaro of Henderson; 12 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; a brother, Robert Graves of Jackson; and five sisters, Dorothy Hendrix of Louisville, Rebecca Hopper of Dyersburg, Mac Rae Twilla of Dyersburg, Ernestine Muth of Louisville and Christine Bell of Henderson.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; and a sister, Sandra Hurst.