Barbara Alice Finnell King was born in Columbus, Ohio on Friday, September 30, 1927. She was the daughter of William McKinley Finnell and Rhea Hall Valentine Finnell. Barbara was a student of Columbus City Schools and a graduate of East High School. She was united in holy matrimony to Mr. James Lee King on February 15, 1951. Barbara was employed with the Federal Government as an administrative secretary at the Defense Construction Supply Center (DCSC). She was an excellent secretary and was in high demand for her ability to take shorthand. Barbara retired in 1984, with over twenty-five years of dedicated service.
Barbara loved the Lord. She was an active member of Second Baptist Church for over sixty years. Sister King served in the Anna Circle, Prayer Cottage, and the Hospitality Ministry. She was a secretary under the Rev. Leon L. Troy and Rev. Dr. Howard T. Washington. Barbara was also a charter member of The Good Shepherd Baptist Church, where she served on the Literary Guild and sang in the Voices of Good Shepherd. Barbara had a beautiful soprano voice which she used to the glory of God. This child of the King labored diligently in His vineyard.
In addition to her work in the church, Barbara had her own greeting card ministry. Through this ministry, she sent a variety of celebration and heartfelt cards with her own unique touch added. Anyone who saw the envelope knew that it was a card from Barbara, for she drew balloons, teddy bears, or hearts to make the card special. She sent these cards to family, church members, as well as strangers and anybody who needed encouragement and inspiration. It was her ministry to let people know that they were thought of and loved.
Barbara had a beautiful public speaking voice. She spoke very ‘proper’ and distinctively. Those who did not know Barbara thought she was from the islands. Her childhood friends, however, would comment that she had not always spoken that way. Barbara had her own unique way of getting your attention. It was a raised eyebrow or a word that you did not understand. Her children stated that she had her own old school language. She would never say purse; it was always pocketbook, couch was davenport, and if you said something she did not like, she would quickly tell you to watch your “phraseology.” To know her was to love her without having to try. She ruffled her share of feathers in her lifetime, but she always came back and gave you smoother ones than you had before.
When asked her name, Barbara would tell you it was “Barbara Alice Anastasia Finnell Deville King.” She was truly a unique personality and an incredibly special lady.
Blessed with ninety-two years of life, our beloved Barbara entered eternal rest Tuesday, April 28, 2020. Along with her parents, she was predeceased by her sister, Jolene E. Finnell; grandson, Troy L. King; former husband, James L. King; and long-time best friend, Lugene C. Pruitt.
Barbara loved her family. She was a loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and beautiful songbird. Memories of her are cherished by her sons, Craig (Avonda) King and Mark (Rogina) King; daughters, Sherrill Gray, Kimberly King, Dana Butler, and Crystal King; grandchildren, Shannon King-Otto, Gary Jr., Michael, Sr., and Camille Thornton, Markie (Chrissa), Damon (Shannon), and Daron Haywood, Philip Gray, Chantal King, Tiffany Hester, Eric Brown II, and Vincent Butler; thirty-two great grandchildren; and a host of other family members and friends.