Dr. James LeRoy King, Jr.
April 05, 1933 - December 28, 2022
Obituary For Dr. James LeRoy King, Jr.
Dr. James LeRoy King, Jr. passed away on December 28, 2022, at the age of 89. For those of us who were blessed to know and love him, the sadness of his passing is mitigated by the joy of having him as a continual light in our lives for so many years. LeRoy was that rarest of souls—one who loved to live and lived to love.
LeRoy was born in Wilmington, NC, on April 5, 1933. He fondly recalled his idyllic weekends as a teenager taking the city bus to Wrightsville Beach for the day and spending that time swimming and socializing with buddies at the Lumina Pavilion. After graduating from New Hanover High in 1951, he became one of the very few Wake Forest undergraduates who began college in Wake Forest, NC and graduated from medical school in 1958 in Winston-Salem. He did his residency in Chicago and practiced family medicine in Monroe, NC, in the 1960’s.
After a residency in anesthesiology in Boston and teaching at Duke University, LeRoy, and his medical partner, Larry Haynes, founded Wake Anesthesiology Associates in 1969 and grew the practice to include many partners and nurse anesthetists. His bedside manner and his performance in the operating room were marked by a calm, expert demeanor. Family and friends were also blessed by this same reassuring presence.
LeRoy retired from Wake Anesthesiology Associates in 1995, and what a fulfilling retirement he enjoyed! Reflecting his passion for world travel and history, he created “Dickens Destinations,” a learning-travel business which would take other adventurous travelers on twenty-seven international trips to include Great Britain, France, Italy, Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Canada, and South Africa.
LeRoy also served two terms as Board Chair for “Friends of Residents in Long-Term Care,” a non-profit organization which raised money to lobby for important legislative change within the nursing home industry in NC.
LeRoy was preceded in death by his parents, James LeRoy King, and Martha Murray King. He is survived by his devoted partner, Elliot Engel with whom LeRoy shared forty wonderful years, his former wife and lifelong friend, Rebecca King, his two cherished children, Thomas Michael King of Raleigh, NC and Sara King Chappelow of Oak Ridge, NC, his supportive son-in-law, Craig Chappelow, along with three grandsons, whom he loved beyond measure: Thomas Chappelow of Durham, Andrew Chappelow of Wilmington, and Benjamin Chappelow of Asheville.
In addition to his family, LeRoy was deeply grateful for six other treasured people in his life: Larry Haynes, his medical partner and dear friend, four nurse anesthetists—Brenda Haynes, Dawn Mann, Sabra Taylor, and Bea Tripp—who began as dedicated employees but became friends for life, and Quinn Hawkesworth who was an adored friend throughout the year but especially at Christmas.
Finally, LeRoy, Elliot, and the family will be forever grateful to Josie Bryan, who with her amazing and compassionate nursing skills helped LeRoy navigate the considerable challenges of his recent failing memory with good humor and grace. They are also thankful to Transitions LifeCare who were excellent guides and caregivers during LeRoy’s last few weeks.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Transitions LifeCare.
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