Dennis N. King
It is with profound sadness that the family of Dennis Neil King announces his passing on August 2, 2019 in St. Joseph, Missouri, where he was a much-loved resident of St. Joseph’s Living Community.
Dennis was renowned for his lifelong love of music and teaching, his deep faith in God, and his undeniable strength in living a full life while accepting physical limitations that challenged his independence and avocations.
Dennis attended St. Francis of Xavier grade school and is a graduate of Central High School. He received his (BME)from Kansas University and continued his master’s studies at Iowa University, where he received an MA in organ and church music.
Born the third of five boys in St. Joseph, Dennis is survived by his parents William C. and Joann P. (Kneib)King of St. Joseph; his brothers Wm. Michael (Helen) also of St. Joseph; Patrick J. of Kansas City, Mo; James Timothy (Nathan Lau) of Auburn, Wa; John F and (Monica) King of Winchester, Va. and his nieces and nephews: Jemma, Connell, Matthew, Garrett, Nattalie, Sarah (David) King-Christian, Brian and Emilie.
Dennis anchored his life in music. Upon completion of his academic studies, he moved to Dubuque, Iowa, and taught music to elementary school students using the parish hymnal as a textbook. In this way, he taught not only appreciation of the text and song, but essential music fundamentals. His work led to subsequent positions as organist and choir director, and his solo performances earned accolades that extended beyond his local community.
In 1985, Dennis relocated to Galveston, Texas, to accept a position at Sacred Heart Church as organist and elementary school teacher. He enjoyed many happy times in Galveston and continued to share his musical gifts with others, serving as organist for St. Patrick’s Church, First Baptist Church, and the West End Island Church. He also served as pianist at Ball High School for the choir program. He remembers his time in Galveston fondly and cherishes the many friendships and opportunities he enjoyed there.
During this time, Dennis also expanded his personal horizons and traveled to Asia and Africa.
Dennis returned to Missouri in 1997 and taught in the St. Joseph School District. He also began advocating with the St. Joseph Health Department and quickly became known as a dedicated activist who spoke to community groups on HIV and AIDS-related issues.
In 2003, Dennis began to experience significant health challenges that ultimately necessitated the use of a wheelchair. His vision also began to fail gradually until he was left completely blind. Despite these obstacles, Dennis never accepted that his disability was permanent and continued to look for ways to act as a role model and to share his prodigious musical talents. In 2012, he received an artistic grant that resulted in the release of two CD collections entitled “Dennis King: Finding My Voice.”
Dennis spent his last year(s) at St. Joseph’s Living Community, where he gave several solo holiday concerts and directed a community choir group. He was a well-known and loved presence at the Community where his gentle nature, unwavering faith, and spiritual dignity remain an inspiration to all those whose life he touched.
Memorial Mass 10:00 A.M. Thursday, Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church. Interment St. Joseph Cemetery, Easton, Missouri. The family will gather with friends 9:00 A.M. Thursday, Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church. Parish Rosary 9:30 A.M. Thursday. In lieu of flowers the family request donations to St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, 2 E 75th St, Kansas City. MO 64114. Online guest book and obituary at www.meierhoffer.com.
- Dennis N. King February 23, 1955 - August 2, 2019
- Marty Lee Hill November 23, 1955 - March 07, 2019
- Donna S. McKinley March 13, 1955 – February 15, 2019
- Connie Diana Thornton November 28, 1955 - February 22, 2019
- Fred Bierschbach May 5, 1955 - August 24, 2019
- Richard "Denny" Dennis Shuman August 20, 1947 - December 3, 2018
- Delbert Wilfong February 22, 1955 - November 09, 2018
- Timothy Lee Widener May 14, 1955 - March 24, 2019
- John Chavez Jr. June 23, 1939 - February 21, 2019
- Joseph Melvin Martin February 23, 1928 - May 5, 2019