Thomas L. King III (1943-2021)
Thomas L. King III (Tom) was born July 8th, 1943 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, to Arline J. King and Thomas L. King Jr. He passed away at the age of 78 on September 27th, 2021 at the Richard Anderson Texas State Veterans Home in Houston, Texas.
He is survived by his only son, Thomas L. King IV, his brother, Robert Cooper, and his sisters: Susan Hackathorn, Linda Lee, Dianne Cooper, Judy Cooper and Nancy Lickenbrock, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Raised a Catholic, he was an altar boy, but was far from the altar boy image generally expected in the Catholic faith. Tom was a Boy Scout, and was later joined in the Scouts by his little brother, Robert. Tom achieved Eagle Scout status.
Tom served in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War as an Airman 2nd class. Tom met Roberta June Patterson (Robbie) while stationed at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. They were married June 24, 1965. Tom was Honorably Discharged in February of 1968.
1972 was a great year for Tom, Robbie gave birth to Thomas IV in April of 1972. Tom later obtained his Bachelor of Science in Technology Degree from the University of Houston in 1972. Tom and Robbie were divorced in 1978.
Tom’s career led him to many locations throughout the world. He worked as an electrical engineer for several chemical refineries, including Saudi Aramco, which took him to the middle east and Europe. He moved to Corpus Christi to work for Dow Chemical Industries. Later in life, Tom used his electrical engineering skills on the space shuttle simulator for NASA in Clear Lake, Texas.
Tom was a collector of many things. His hobbies included stamp collecting, genealogy, and boxer pedigrees. He was also an amateur carpenter and home remodeler. In his early years, he collected coins, and then later moved on to stamps. Many days his mail consisted of stamps mailed to him from all parts of the world.
Tom was also passionate about genealogy, particularly proud of his connection to the King Ranch in Texas. He traced several family lines back to the Pilgrims who arrived at Plymouth Rock and even further back to their European roots.
Tom was an early adopter of all things computer-oriented. In the early 90s he set up computers for his nieces and nephews, complete with a floppy disk to load the operating system.
Tom retired early to enjoy life. He enjoyed feeding stray animals and squirrels, and along the way adopted many of the strays he fed. For years he bred Boxers, starting with his beloved Pee-pie, and in his later years was working toward establishing a database of AKC-registered Boxers.
He enjoyed arguing with the government (local, state & federal), collecting all sorts of stuff and mostly enjoyed just being at home. Tom never did anything in half measures. He enjoyed taking on bureaucracies and fighting the good fight, whether it was about money he deserved from the government or an unfair judgment from his HOA. He had a nice pecan tree and collected bins of pecans and sent them to his sisters for holiday treats.
Tom suffered a series of strokes causing him to fall and fracture his right wrist back in March of 2021, less than two weeks after receiving his 2nd Moderna shot. He was admitted to the VA Hospital on March 27 and released to a rehab clinic where he was quarantined for most of his stay. He was transferred to another rehab clinic with hopes he would recover the ability to be ambulatory. His health went on a downward spiral after that, he was admitted to the VA hospital after his blood oxygen level reached 79% at the rehab clinic. He was asphyxiating on food and drink, and so the medical team at the VA recommended putting in a feeding tube. When he recovered from that we were able to get him released to the Texas State Veterans Home. He made several more trips from there to various hospitals, most recently he was at the VA for treatment for pneumonia a week prior to his passing. He passed on the evening of Monday September 27,2021.
Tom has been cremated and his cremains will be split in 3 parts, 1 part going to the Houston National Veterans cemetery, where his memorial service will be held on Friday November 5th at 1:45pm and he will be buried there with full military honors. One part will be taken to the family burial plot in Saint Louis, Missouri, per his wishes, and one part will return to his home where his best friend Pee-pie is buried.