Donald King

Donald O. King, a former educator and founder of what is now the Valleybrook Country Club, died Saturday of pneumonia at Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air. He was 88.

The son of Walter O. King, a mailman, and Esther Rose King, a homemaker, Donald Oscar King was born in Harrisburg, Pa., and later moved with his family to Carney. He was a graduate of Towson High School.


During World War II, he served as a merchant marine radio operator aboard ships in the Atlantic, Pacific and Mediterranean.

After the war, he took engineering courses at night school and became a construction engineer. In the mid-1950s, he worked on the construction of the open-hearth furnace and the slabbing mill at Bethlehem Steel Corp.'s Sparrows Point plant, and in residential and commercial construction.

In 1958, he took a job at Polytechnic Institute teaching mechanical drafting, a subject he later taught at City College and Northern High School.

He spent the last five years of his career working at several city public high schools helping seniors transition to the workforce. He retired in 1985.

From 1960 to 2002, when he moved to Fallston, Mr. King lived in Kingsville, where he and his then-wife established the Gunpowder Club, a swim and tennis club. It is now called the Valleybrook Country Club and is owned by a son.

For 25 years, Mr. King had volunteered with the Boy Scouts as a Scoutmaster and counselor. He had served on the board of directors and the legislative committee of the Harford County Chamber of Commerce.

He was a member of the Boumi Temple, Masonic Temple-Tuscan Lodge, and the National Swim and Recreational Association, where he served as president.

He enjoyed music and sang in the Baltimore Opera Chorus. He also liked to go horseback riding, swimming, skiing and vacationing in Europe.

Mr. King earned a pilot's license and during the 1970s and 1980s flew his Cessna Sky Hawk and later Cessna Sky Lane, which he had based at the old Baltimore Air Park.

He was a member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church, where he had been president of the congregation and chairman of its board of education.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at his church, 12022 Jerusalem Road, Kingsville.

Surviving are his wife of 18 years, the former Alison Bailey; four sons, Steven King of Towson, David King of Bel Air, Thomas King of Monkton and Daniel King of Fallston; a daughter, Donna Duerling of Kingsville; 15 grandchildren; and several great-grandchildren. An earlier marriage to the former Gloria Ruth Hatton ended in divorce.