Fr. Anthony S. King

From: Rev Msgr John Steiner

Today we received word from the Diocese of Yakima of the death of Father Anthony "Skip" King at 8:15am on Sunday morning. Father King was a priest of the Diocese of Yakima. He was ordained in 1959 after studies at Loras College in Dubuque. He came to Spokane in 1968 when the consolidation of the Yakima and Spokane seminaries took place at Mater Cleri. He had been on the faculty at St. Peter's Seminary in Cowiche and then Father King taught at Mater Cleri Seminary from 1968 to 1974 and was part of the pastoral team which served St. Joseph's Parish in Colbert.

During his time here in Spokane, he was active in our local presbyterate. He did substitution ministry in many of the Spokane parishes. His ability as a musician and his great love of the symphony and the theatre brought him to be involved in many activities with other priests in the city. He lived down at the other end of the dorm wing from me at Mater Cleri and he was very popular with the students. He was always willing to take them someplace or be the driver down to the fast food outlets on Division. He was an easy touch for a good grade. What more could a student wish from a teacher?

After the seminary closed in 1974, Father King did a year of "study" at the American College in Louvain and then served on the Seminary faculty at St. Thomas in Kenmore. His last assignment was as pastor of St. Henry's Parish in Grand Coulee where he served the people of both the Yakima and Spokane diocese in the combined parish for Grand Coulee and Coulee Dam.

During the time of his pastorate there, Alzheimer's disease began to take its toll on him. After a significant time of disability, he recently fell and broke his hip. He had orthopedic surgery, but died of complications from the surgery. He had to be institutionalized in a special care facility because of this hip fracture and the complications of the disease.

We pray that God will bless this good priest for his faithfulness to the Church and the people of God. May he rest in peace!


From: Paul Kunkel

On November 19th, six former seminarians from Mater Cleri were among the family and friends who gathered to pay their respects to Rev. Anthony Simon King at his Mass of Christian Burial at St. Paul's Cathedral in Yakima. Matt Simek and Dan Gaudette ('71); Mike Heitstuman, Randy Chapman, and Steve Kunkel ('72); and I ('73) have all been influenced by this talented, fun-loving, non-conformist priest mentor.

During the service, I fondly recalled how "Skip" had been my spiritual director for nearly all of my time at Mater Cleri. He fostered many new perspectives of religion and spirituality in me. As my first Spanish teacher, he left me with an insatiable desire to unravel the mysteries of foreign language. Special nights in town to go to the Spokane Symphony as well as listening to his own performances on the piano sowed the seeds of a deeper appreciation for classical music. His hearty laugh, hiking in the woods behind MC, his love of avant-garde art, his tan Chevy Impala overloaded with students headed to The Little Bull for treats, his attempts to play basketball -- 30 years have not diminished these cherished memories. I consider myself fortunate to have crossed paths with this wonderful man.

Paul Kunkel


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