Hartley Lester King

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Hartley Lester King

Hartley Lester King, 101, passed away at home in Bonners Ferry, Idaho, on Sept. 17, 2018. He was three weeks shy of his 102nd birthday. Services were held Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Bonners Ferry.

He leaves behind his loving wife, Janice. He is also survived by two sisters, Adeline Britton and Jane Plemmons; son Ernest King (Becky) of Gustavus, Alaska; daughter Joanne Bailey (Al) of Madras, Ore; and Angie Stirling (Eric) of Black Diamond, Wash. He also leaves behind 10 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.

He is preceded in death by his first wife, Myrtle King, of 64 years; granddaughter LaRae King Bomar; mother Mabel King Leder; father Ernest D. King; sisters and brothers Gladys Plemmons, Gene Leder, Charlie Leder, Melville King, and Edith Ciskowski.

Hartley King was a miner at the Continental Mine in northern Idaho, superintendent for 16 years at the North Side Lumber Co. in Philomath, Ore., and he supervised a tree farm in Oregon; then he and Myrtle moved to Haines, Alaska, and worked several jobs there, becoming a beloved member of that community for more than a decade. They returned to Bonners Ferry in 1982 where he continued his woodworking and intarsia projects as well as making dining tables, butcher blocks, coffee tables and lamps.

In the 1950s and 60s he was known as a rock hound — he made rings, necklaces, belt buckles and more. He took first prize at the Oregon State Fair for his polished rock displays.

Hartley was also a logger and hand faller, using hand saws prior to World War II. He made backbreaking labor seem effortless, as when his son Ernie at a young age watched him scything five acres of oats by hand. His family recalls Hartley at age 82 shoveling snow off his roof, worried that if someone else did it they would get hurt.

Hartley served in World War II, a proud Army member of Company C, 349th Engineers. He served one year, one month and one day, rising from enlisted private to sergeant in that short time, teaching demolition procedures. He was scheduled to be in the initial invasion of Tokyo but thankfully the war ended and Hartley returned home to his wife, young daughter and son.

Nobody could tell a story quite like Hartley and he was always the first to start laughing at one of his funny anecdotes. He was an avid gardener, growing flowers, berries, and fruit trees, and people often stopped by and admired his beautiful yard. Everyone loved Hartley and he truly never knew a stranger. This kind and gentle man who was so beloved will be greatly missed.

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