George L H King Jr., 86, passed away peacefully on Sept. 12, 2023, and this obituary was written by his own hand.
George was born in Columbus, Texas, on Jan. 11, 1937, to Lydia (Spindler) and Leslie King. Because there was no hospital in Columbus at that time, he was born at home.
As a youngster, George was interested in mechanical and scientific things. He built a model railroad and many model airplanes.
George attended Columbus schools and graduated in 1955. George was senior class president, first chair cornet in the band and served as band president. As a student, he earned all-district honors in football and basketball and made regional finals in shot put and discus. He was inducted into the Columbus High School Athletic Hall of Honor in 2009.
He was an active participant in intramural athletics at Texas A&M University, setting records in shot put and swimming and winning two corps championships in football.
George and Leah Ann Wilson married on Dec. 28, 1957, and raised three boys – Richard, John and Will.
George graduated from Texas A&M with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1959. He later went back to A&M and earned a master’s degree in education. He was in the A&M Corps of Cadets, graduated as a second lieutenant and served in the Army Corps of Engineers at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and Fort Hood, Texas, now known as Fort Cavazos.
After his Army service, George was employed by Dallas Power and Light Co. for 15 years. While at DP & L, George designed and wrote computer software to conduct steam-turbine performance tests while the unit was in normal operation. He was the first in the world to successfully make this software work and received an international award from the Instrument Society of America. He left DP&L in 1974 as manager of plant maintenance and construction.
George returned home to own and operate Spindler Concrete before beginning a teaching career in the Columbus Independent School District. He taught high school math, science and computer courses. George introduced computers to CISD, setting up computer labs at all campuses and teaching the staff how to use them. He taught the first computer-science course to students. He retired from teaching in 1995.
In the 1980s, George formed Big G Software and wrote athletic scouting and stat software for high school coaches.
In retirement, George enjoyed fishing, woodworking, handloading, shooting, tying flies and fixing things. He built many model airplanes and model railroads. His greatest pleasure was spending time with his grandkids – teaching them to fish, shoot, use tools and learn to fix stuff. In his later years, they have been here to help him do the things he could no longer do.
He was preceded in death by his son, John; his brother, Bill; and his parents.
Survivors include his beloved wife of 65 years; sons, Richard and Will and wife Melanie; daughter- in-law, Aimee; and grandchildren, Joseph King, Lydia King, Eli King, John Michael King (Miranda), Jacob King, Travis (Lauren) and Erika Summers; and five great grandsons.
All in all, it has been a great life.
A memorial service was 11 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023, at First United Methodist Church in Columbus. A reception followed in the Family Life Center.
Instead of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Colorado County Habitat for Humanity, P.O. Box 1148, Columbus, TX 78934; PUPS, 1884 Bostik Road, Cat Spring, TX 78933; Leukemia Society, P.O. Box 22324, New York, NY 10087; or charity of your choice.
Services were under the direction of Henneke Funeral Home of Columbus.
Online condolences may be given at www.hennekefuneralhome. com.