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1922 Wilma 2021

Wilma Faye King

November 17, 1922 — April 25, 2021

With great personal sorrow, but deep joy in Christ, we announce the passing of Wilma Faye Barnhill King on April 25, 2021.  Wilma Faye was born on November 17, 1922, in a log, sharecropper’s cabin near Haywood, OK, the youngest child of Alva Edwin Barnhill and Voisie Donaldson Barnhill.  She spent most of her early life on farms in Oklahoma; land she described as “nothing but sand, only fit to grow watermelons and stickers.”

Wilma Faye and her family moved to Iago, Texas, in 1935, a move described by Wilma Faye as “the best thing that ever happened to us.”  She lived most of the rest of her life in Wharton County. Wilma Faye graduated from Wharton High School in 1939.  After graduation, she worked in Wharton as a telephone operator.  As such, she was among the first in Wharton to get news of the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

She married Arthur Kenneth King, Jr. on September 21, 1943 at the Iago Federated Church in Iago, Texas. She moved with him to Leadville, Colorado, where he was stationed as an Army Lieutenant with the 10th Mountain Division. When he was transferred to South Carolina, she moved back to Wharton County to live with family while awaiting the birth of their first child.  Arthur K. King, III, was a ‘preemie’, born on July 17, 1944.  He wasn’t allowed to come home from the hospital until September, and he met his father for the first time in October of that year (Captain King came home on leave prior to deploying to Europe).

After World War II, Wilma Faye and Kenneth began a dairy farm, eventually locating near the old community of Don Tol in southeastern Wharton County. She lived there until 1977, bearing and raising three more sons.  Her husband having passed away in 1976; she moved to Burr, to live near and care for her mother.  In the early 1970s, she started working at the Alamont Veterinary Clinic, first for Dr. David Gilbert and Dr. Eddie Clayton, and later for her second son, Dr. Dwight King.  When her mother, Voisie, passed away in 2001, she moved to Wharton, where she has resided for the past twenty years.

She took great joy from her love of Christ, and wanted nothing more for her family and friends than they know that same joy.  Wilma Faye was a tireless prayer warrior for her boys and their families. She was a member of Iago Federated Church from 1935 until her death.  She played the piano and organ for the church for years; although she was quick to point out that she was “not good enough.”  As she aged, and her vision faded, she would often sit down at the keyboard and play.  She couldn’t see to read the music, but she would seamlessly string together fragments of old hymns into beautiful symphonies of praise to her God.  It was a sound not to be forgotten; an ode of worship, unfettered by notes on a page.

Wilma Faye was preceded in death by her husband, Kenneth, and her oldest son, Art (Lylabeth).  She is survived by three sons: Dr. Dwight D. (Jamie) King, DVM, of Horseshoe Bay, Dwain G. (Gloria) King of Italy, and Colonel (Ret) Roger L. (Mary) King, of New Braunfels, eleven grandchildren and twenty-seven great-grandchildren.

Funeral services are planned at the Wharton Funeral Home at 10:00 a.m., May 3, 2021, to be followed immediately by a graveside service at the Wharton Cemetery and a gathering of friends and family at the Wharton Civic Center from 12:30 until 3:00 p.m.  The family asks that in lieu of flowers, those who wish should either make a donation to the Iago Federated Church (7167 FM 1096, Boling, TX 77420) or their favorite charity.

Wilma Faye is currently negotiating with the Lord over the placement of her “cabin in the corner of Glory Land.”  We will all miss our family’s greatest Prayer Warrior, but we take comfort in the knowledge that she and her long-time musical partner, Zane Hobizal, are making Heaven resound with hymns of praise.  The music plays on…

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Wilma Faye King, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Monday, May 3, 2021

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

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Graveside Service

Monday, May 3, 2021

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

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