January 14, 2019
Nona S. King (12/20/1931 – 1/6/2019)
NEW SALEM- Nona S. King, of New Salem MA, passed away on Sunday, January 6th after living 87 years full of life, family and adventures. As of Sunday, it is safe to say that heaven got a little more exciting with the arrival of Nona. Nona was born on December 20th in Yonkers, NY in 1931 and was the daughter of the late Steven and Jean Sutton and is survived by her husband, Donald G. King of New Salem, MA and her sister, Carolyn of Washington state.
She was married to Donald King for over 50 years and raised a family of 6 children. Nona’s children were blessed to have a mom who instilled her sense of adventure and passion for sports. Her six children are: Gary (deceased), Jeff, Timmy, Tara, Jamie and Randy. Nona’s life was also filled with many grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Nona graduated from Cornell University and was a member of the Equestrian Team which began her lifelong passion for horses. Nona was an accomplished equestrian and owned a horse most of her adult life. Her second love in the animal world were her dogs. She bred and raised Labrador Retrievers under the kennel name Birchangreen Labradors. Nona enjoyed working with and training her dogs, especially in the field. Many of the dogs she bred went on to compete successfully at the national level. Her legacy in the dog world is almost equal to that of hers in the parachuting world. She was a member of the USA Team which competed in the 1962 World Sport Parachuting Championship held in Orange, MA. She placed 3rd in the world in the individual competition and was on the first place USA Team which took the world title that year. She passed on her love of parachuting to several of her children who also embraced the sport.
In her younger days, she traveled much of the US and Europe hiking, climbing and simply exploring the world. When she settled in New Salem, she became an active member of the community serving on the school committee of Mahar Regional High School for many years, coaching and umpiring little league and working for a local veterinary hospital. Family vacations in Maine were always the highlight of the summer with endless hours spent on the beach. Two large tents and a pick-up camper was home for 2 weeks in August every year. To this day, we have no idea how our mom and dad made that work.
Nona’s children kept her busy throughout life, but she also managed to have a life full of hobbies and interests. Nona loved gardening, walking the dogs, working the horse and watching sports. She rarely, if ever, missed a game her children played in and was an avid New England sports fan including the Red Sox, Patriots and Celtics. She was a great cook and would often say “it isn’t homemade unless you find a dog hair in it”. With 4-5 dogs in the house at any one time, it is safe to say we enjoyed many “homemade” meals. With 6 children, “hand me down” clothing was a reality in our house, but since our mom was in fact the smallest of us all, she would often end up wearing our old clothes and winter jackets.
As life slowed down a bit, Nona enjoyed reading and was an avid fan of crossword puzzles. She loved soaking up the rays of sun on her porch in both the summer and in winter. She loved feeding and watching the birds and had one of the largest populations of hummingbirds we have ever seen. Nona was an incredible person, full of spunk and enthusiasm that was uniquely her. She will be missed by family and friends, but we are blessed to know she knew Jesus Christ and is now happy in heaven watching over her large family.
Our mom’s wishes were to be cremated and the family will have a private gathering on a warm, sunny day in the Spring to celebrate her life since our mom was not a big admirer of Winter. Nona loved plants, but would prefer funds in her memory go to a positive cause that supported her love for Labrador Retrievers. Therefore, in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the following organization in her name: Labrador Retriever Rescue Inc - Donate., PO Box 404 North Reading, MA 01864 or via the web at http://labrescue.com/ways-to-help/donate/
Witty’s Funeral Home, 158 South Main Street, Orange, is assisting the family.
You may offer your sympathy online at www.wittyfuneralhome.com