Obituary of Richard John Rodney King
The Hon Richard John Rodney King of Charlotte, NC died peacefully at Piedmont Medical Center, Rock Hill, SC, on Friday, August 30, 2019, aged 76. Richard, the eldest son of The Lord King of Wartnaby and Mrs. Lorna Kathleen King, (born Sykes) had resided in the United States since 1976.
Born in Guildford, England, he spent much of his early life in Yorkshire where his ever-present interest in sporting activities embraced horse riding and later, horse racing.
In 1958, the King family moved to Leicestershire and Richard completed his schooling at Le Rosey in Gstaad, Switzerland.
Having inherited his father’s fascination with engineering he enhanced his learning curve with Aveling Barford Engineering, manufacturers of road rollers and articulated dump trucks, before founding Wide Range Engineering Services, based in Leicester.
Wide Range Engineering Services specialized in the distribution of bearings and small engine parts, a focus that found reflection in his long-standing passion and association with go kart racing both in England and later in the U.S.A.
In his youth, he was a keen amateur jockey and racehorse owner. His favorite horse raced under the name Half Asleep. “It’s anything but that” he used to assure friends. His horses invariably bore memorable names, High Fives and Tax Relief being two of them.
He later embraced motor racing, in particular competitive go kart racing, first as a wheelman and later as a team owner and founder and CEO of Speed Karts Inc., in Charlotte, NC.
Richard was a lifelong supporter of Chelsea FC, winners of last season’s Europa League Cup, but his love of soccer was best reflected in his ardent coaching of his son’s soccer team where he found great joy and success for over 15 years, first at Park Sharon and later at South Charlotte Soccer Association.
He is survived by his wife, Monika, his son, John-Erich and siblings, the Hon Rachel, Philip and Rupert King.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to “Speed Karts Inc. – Richard King Memorial Race Fund”(335 Dalton Ave., Charlotte, NC 28206).Tentative race date - Labor Day Weekend 2020.
Celebration of Life for family and friends will be held on Sunday, September 15, 2019 from 2pm - 4pm at the Hankins and Whittington Funeral Home, 1111 East Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28203.
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