James Robert King Jr. ‘Jim’

Published 2:43 pm Wednesday, May 5, 2021

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James Robert King Jr. “Jim”, 80, passed away at his home surrounded by his loving family on Saturday, May 1, at Nottoway Court House, Nottoway.

Jim was the owner and pharmacist of Crittenden’s Drug Store in Crewe for decades. He was a humble, yet extremely generous Christian gentleman. He truly loved his family, his church, his community and his friends, especially his golfing buddies. He will be famously remembered for his love of Pepsi-Cola, the Washington Redskins and orange golf balls. He will be forever admired for his incredible work ethic and quick, dry wit. Here is his story.

Jim was born on May 27, 1940 in Victoria, the eldest of three children, to Bud and Ethleen King. He was a 1958 graduate of Victoria High School in Victoria and graduated from the Medical College of Virginia’s School of Pharmacy in 1962.

As a youth, Jim developed his strong work ethic delivering newspapers in Victoria, always having a moon pie and Pepsi when he was done. In high school he played basketball, played the saxophone in the band and was a member of the Monogram Club. He was a member of the Boy Scouts of America, achieved the rank of Eagle Scout and earned the Order of the Arrow Award and the God and Country Award. Upon graduation, Jim was accepted to MCV’s School of Pharmacy.

During his four years at MCV, Jim met his future wife, Carla Yates, from Pennington Gap, also attending pharmacy school. They graduated together in 1962 and married the very next day in Victoria. Shortly thereafter, he was hired by Wornom’s Pharmacy in Hampton, where he and Carla established their home. Although it was still early in his career, he was awarded the esteemed Bowl of Hygeia Community Service Award from the Virginia Pharmacist Association (1970) recognizing his extraordinary civic contributions in the community. While they were living in Hampton, they had Sabrina, their first child, born in 1963 who would later graduate from Virginia Tech 1987 with degree in Health and Physical Education. In 1972, his second daughter, Holly King, was born. She followed in her parent’s footsteps, went to MCV’s School of Pharmacy, graduated in 1995, and would later work in the family business.

In 1974, Jim and Carla moved the family to Crewe, where they purchased Crittenden’s Drug. Jim was the full-time owner and pharmacist. In 1987 he moved his family to “The Oaks” at Nottoway Courthouse, which he proudly called home until the day he died.

During Jim’s decades at Crittenden’s, he was lovingly referred to as “Doc” by the community because of his pharmaceutical expertise, and local doctors often relied upon him for his professional advice. He had an uncanny way of hiring employees, who would exemplify his expectation of excellent customer service, and he mentored many young people in the community.

Shortly after moving to Crewe, the family joined Crewe United Methodist Church where Jim sang in the choir, was a Trustee and Finance Chair. He also joined the Crewe-Burkeville Lion’s Club and was recognized as Lion of the Year multiple times. In 2005, Jim received the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award for his service to Lion’s Club International. He served on the Nottoway County Electoral Board for 28 years, many of them as Chairman. In 2009, because of his many years of community service, he was asked to be the Crewe Homecoming Parade Grand Marshall.

Jim was an avid golfer. He amazingly made 4 holes in one, one of which was a par 4 of hole number 9 of the Crewe Country Club golf course. After searching for a while for the ball, they finally checked the cup and found his signature orange ball. In recognition of his support of the Crewe Country Club, an annual tournament, the King’s Cup, is named in his honor. Ironically during this year’s King’s Cup, Jim passed away between Saturday and Sunday play, on Saturday night.

Jim enjoyed traveling with his family, visiting 6 continents, and enjoyed many summer vacations at Capon Springs with family and friends, where he played golf during the day and played cards as night. He was an extremely competitive Bridge player and was an excellent dancer.

His wife of 46 years, Carla, passed away in June of 2008. He married Barbara M. Gates, a graduate of Grace Hospital School of Nursing, on March 1st of 2012 in a private ceremony performed by their respective pastors in the prayer chapel of Crewe Baptist Church. Barbara, an extremely knowledgeable and compassionate registered nurse, lovingly called upon her expertise to tenderly care for Jim in his final months.

Jim is survived by his wife of 9 years, Barbara Gates King; two siblings, Michael “Randy” King (Lynn) of Roanoke and A. Joy King of Chesapeake; daughters Sabrina King of Crewe and Holly King Morris (Wesley) of Jetersville; step-sons Edward Gates (Tiffany) of Surf City, North Carolina, Louis Gates (Jenny) of Fort Mill, South Carolina; grandsons Tyler Morris of Blackstone and Hunter Morris of Jetersville; step-granddaughters, Connor Gates Stafford (Matt) of Bedford, Jordyn Austin of Chesapeake; step-grandsons, Hunter Gates and Parker Gates of Fort Mill, South Carolina and two step-granddaughters, Gia Stafford of Roanoke and Sydney Stafford of Bedford.

The family received friends on Wednesday, May 5, from 5 to 8 pm at Joseph McMillian Funeral Home, 1826 Cox Rd., Blackstone, VA 23824. Funeral Services will be held on Thursday, May 6 at 2 p.m. at Crewe United Methodist Church, 607 E. Georgia Ave., Crewe, VA 23930. Interment to follow at Crewe Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please consider memorial donations to the Crewe United Methodist Church Maintenance Fund, P.O. Box 105, Crewe, VA, 23930, Amedisys Hospice, 4591 Lifestyle Lane Midlothian, VA 23112 or Nottoway County Emergency Squad, P.O. Box 453, Crewe VA, 23930.

Online condolences may be made by visiting www.mcmillianfuneralhome.com.