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Claudine Berry KingJune 2, 1921 ~ May 16, 2017 (age 95)
Claudine Berry King
Claudine Berry King (“Deanie”), 95, of Muscle Shoals died Tuesday, May 16, 2017. Visitation will be from 12:30-1:45 on Thursday, May 18 at Woodward Avenue Baptist Church in Muscle Shoals with funeral services to follow at 2:00 o’clock. Dr. Will Rushing and Dr. Tom Whatley will officiate. Internment will take place immediately after at Colbert Memorial Gardens with Colbert Memorial Chapel directing.
Mrs. King was born June 2, 1921 in Russellville, Alabama. At the age of 16, she graduated from Russellville High School, where she was the class of 1937 valedictorian. After graduation, she married Delma O. King. The couple moved to Tuscumbia, then Sheffield and finally settled in Muscle Shoals. They were happily married for 60 years.
While living in TVA Village 2, Mr. and Mrs. King helped begin a non-denominational Sunday school, which led to their role in establishing a new Baptist church (now Woodward Avenue Baptist Church) in Highland Park. Services were held in homes and a tent until the first services in a small building on Woodward Avenue in December of 1944. The Kings were among the charter members of Woodward Avenue Baptist Church, joining on the third Sunday and later baptized on a cold, rainy night two months later. Prior to her death, Mrs. King was the last living charter member of the church.
Through the years Mrs. King acted as the church historian, taught Sunday school, was a member and president of Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU), and in later years was active in the XYZ program for senior adults. She also helped her husband in his responsibility as church treasurer. She loved her Lord, her family and her church.
Mrs. King was preceded in death by her parents, Claude Berry and Artie Clark (Berry) Mills, her loving husband, an infant daughter, Elizabeth King and two sons, Larry Eugene King and Delma Jerome King, D.Min.
Her sister, Nell Berry Blankenship of Florence, survives her. She is also survived by her daughters-in-law, Barbara Riner King of Muscle Shoals and Frances Rollins King of Birmingham, her grandchildren, Genia McKinney (Joe) and Elesia Crosswhite (Tandy) of Muscle Shoals, Amy Black (Bryan) of Marietta, Georgia, Heather Swanner (Dr. Jason) of Birmingham, and Dr. Chris King (Daley) of Birmingham. Surviving great-grandchildren include Colton McKinney, Sydney McKinney, Mason Crosswhite, Margaret Black, Jack Swanner, Campbell Swanner, Harper King and Sarah Mills King. Mrs. King also leaves special nieces Nelda Jean Smelser (Vann), Anne Gingles (Chris) and Barbara Williams (Phil).
Pallbearers will include Tandy Crosswhite, Mason Crosswhite, Colton McKinney, Chris King, Phillip Fretwell, David Mayo and Steve Everett. Honorary Pallbearers will be the Sonshine Sunday School Class at Woodward Avenue Baptist Church
The family wishes to thank Dr. Brad McAnalley and Dr. Jerry Williams for their compassion and kindness to Mrs. King over the years. They are also grateful to the nurses and staff of Helen Keller Hospital and Cottage of the Shoals for the excellent care given to Mrs. King during her final days.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial gifts to Woodward Avenue Baptist Church or to a charity of choice.