Olive “Beth” King

Born in Scottsbluff, NE
Born on Oct 26, 1924
Departed on Feb 16, 2020

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Olive “Beth” King of Cedar Rapids, IA peacefully departed this world for her heavenly home on February 16, 2020 with family by her side.  A visitation will be held on Sunday March 1, 2020 at 1:00 PM followed by a Celebration of Life at 2:00 PM at the Church on Northland, 5200 Northland Ave NE, in Cedar Rapids.

Beth was born October 26, 1924 to James Archie and Ellen Carte near Scottsbluff, NE. Although her parents named her Olive, she was always called Beth by those who knew her. 

She grew up on a small dairy farm during the depression era, after a short time living in a tent city with her family on an island located near Scottsbluff.  She was very active and proud to show her cows in 4H as a teen.  

After graduating from her very small high school she turned down a marriage proposal from her boyfriend and headed off to college to study to be a dietician. Unfortunately, she had to discontinue her studies at the University of Nebraska when she contracted rheumatic fever.  

In 1945 she gave birth to her first son, Steven Michael “Mickey” and they moved to Portland, Oregon where they lived in a boarding house run by “Aunt Minnie” and she worked as a telephone operator to make ends meet.  

It was in Portland that she was introduced to her future husband, Harvey King.  He and a couple of his Navy pals who were out past curfew ducked in to a dance hall to evade military police.  He asked her to dance and quickly became the love of her life.

Once his duty with the Navy was complete in 1950, Harvey returned to Iowa. Beth followed her heart and she and Mickey moved to Iowa to join Harvey. 

They married on June 18, 1950 in Dows, IA.  Harvey adopted Steve and they went on to have three more children, daughter Peggy, son Tony, and son Timothy (born stillborn) between 1951 and 1956. 

In 1957 they moved to Cedar Rapids where they would spend the rest of their lives.  She worked as a bookkeeper for several years and then the telephone company for over 20 years, initially as a telephone operator and then assisting engineers in an office.

After “retiring” Beth took on part-time work at Northbrook Nursing Home, the Residence Inn, and the Springhouse restaurant. She also was involved volunteering for the Salvation Army and assisting in getting people out to vote – working in her later years for a few different presidential campaigns. She was thrilled when she got to meet Hillary Clinton during her campaign. 

Beth enjoyed bowling and was very active in the Cedar Rapids Women’s Bowling Association. She also loved doing needlepoint and quilting with the quilting group at the church and creating for family and friends. She also enjoyed going with friends on occasion to play the slot machines at various casinos.

She was very lucky at the slots and enthusiastically tried to pass down her system to her grandchildren. She loved to travel with friends and family and always had a AAA membership and trip tic with her on her road trips.   

Her family was her pride and joy.  Survivors include her son Tony (Kathy) King of Coshocton, OH, grandchildren Dina Brake of Marion, IA, Aron (Brandi) Brake of St. Ansgar, IA, Angela (Zak) Lyon of  Sunbury, OH, Ashley (Scott) Shaw of Newark, OH, and Amanda King of Columbus, OH; and six great grand children: Zoe, Kaiden, Izabella, Korbin, Gracelynn, and Jaxon; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.  She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers: James, Robert and Richard, sons Timothy and Steven, husband, and daughter Peggy Brake.

She was convinced she was going to live to be 100 and that drinking Coke, that the doctor “prescribed to her” was key to that happening.  While in calendar years she may have fallen short, in “life lived and people impacted” she made her mark.
Beth had a remarkable 95 years and will be remembered for her spunky, ornery, can -do attitude, faithfully calling her family and friends to talk, her love of Turner Classic Movies, and dancing.  She had moxie until her last breath and will be missed greatly by those who loved her.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be directed to the family.