The Fence Post obituary: Roger Lawrence King
September 7, 2018
Roger Lawrence King, 86
July 22, 1931 – July 14, 2018
Roger Lawrence King, DVM was born in Boulder County, Colo., the first of three sons of Lawrence Wright and Edna Lucille (nee. Aubuchon) King. His parents worked as farmers in the Boulder valley, ultimately operating a large cattle operation. King graduated from Boulder High School. He served with the United States Marine Corps during the Korean conflict 1952-54, attaining the rank of Sergeant. In basic training, he met Leroy Joachims of Iowa; they maintained a friendship of 67 years.
Upon his return to the United States, he married Barbara Marguerite Stengel, whom he met at a neighborhood gathering at age 10 — she was 5. He always related the story that he saw a "cute little blonde girl" and asked his friend who she was; he was told "Aw, that's just my kid cousin!" They were married a few months short of 59 years and raised four children together.
Following his enlistment, he entered Colorado State University in Fort Collins, graduating in 1962 from the College of Veterinary Medicine. He fulfilled his dream of returning to his hometown area, setting up the first veterinary practice in Lafayette Colo., treating large and small animals. A few years later, the family relocated to Fort Morgan, Colo., there beginning another important activity to him, showing horses. The family moved to Phoenix in 1967. For many years, he maintained licenses to practice in five western states.
While living in Arizona, he expanded his career skills, including canine orthopedics and in his later years of active practice, specialized in equine care exclusively, including serving as track veterinarian for Turf Paradise. He was appointed by the governor to the Arizona Board of Veterinary Examiners. King's passion for horses found another outlet when he purchased a team of Percheron draft horses to give his wife a ride on the wagon she had inherited from her father — a wedding gift to her parents from the groom's parents in 1928. The Kings founded the Arizona Draft Horse Association and worked on the committee for the Arizona Cowboy Poetry Gathering. Their days were filled with family activities, including supporting children and grandchildren in school and rodeo related activities, church and many friends.
Retirement in Durango, Colo., brought the couple back to their home state where family and a wide circle of friends filled their days. Once again, they worked to revitalize the Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering, focusing on scholarship efforts for schools in the southwest area of the state.
In 2013, Barbara died and he spent his last few years primarily in Arizona with occasional visits back to Colorado. Also, he was preceded in death by his youngest brother, Donald (Kathy). He is survived by his brother David (Kathryn) of Longmont, Colo. He will be deeply missed by his children, Mary Lu, Debie (Chuck), Mark (Laurel) and Jackie; his grandchildren, Justin (Riana), Daranne (Mike), Jessica (Brandon), Melissa, Carter (Zoe), Audra (Jason), Ellie and Shane were fortunate to have both of these grandparents with them for many years and will share memories throughout their lives. At the time of his death, King had enjoyed adding 13 great-grandchildren, aged 19 years through 10 months, to his days.
King elected to donate his body to scientific research efforts so arrangements for burial service are pending. The family would like to suggest memorial donations be made to the Durango Poetry Gathering, P.O. Box 2571, Durango CO 81302, in his memory.