Daniel Christopher King

Daniel Christopher King, age 64, died Tuesday, July 23, 2019, at his home in East Bernard, following a long battle with cancer. Chris, as he preferred to be called, was born Jan. 23, 1955, in Sealy. He was the son of Racy F. King of Elkhart, and Margaret Farkas King, of Orchard.

Chris was one of seven children. During his early years, he and his family lived in Orchard, and he spent his childhood growing up in Wallis. Chris and his sister and three brothers attended Guardian Angel Catholic School. He graduated from Wallis High School in 1973 after years of playing football for the Wallis Steers. He enjoyed playing varsity golf, and participating on the debate team.

After high school graduation, Chris attended The University of Texas in Austin. He worked weekends and summers for the King Construction Company, a family business owned by his father and brothers, James and Dennis King, and he put himself through college. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business in December of 1977. 

Chris moved to East Bernard after college on Nov. 24, 1979. He returned to work for his brother James and learned road construction and heavy equipment skills that later served him well. In addition, he spent three years rice farming with Frank H. Smaistrla. In 1991, Chris was elected Wharton County Commissioner for Precinct 2. He was most proud of his 28 years in office as a public servant. During his tenure with the county, he was instrumental in getting a new transfer station and recycling program for the precinct, for the resolution and subsequent renovation of the historic Wharton County Courthouse, for the prevention of the Trans-Texas Corridor, for the development of a community park in East Bernard, and for his response to many emergencies in the county, including the most recent Hurricane Harvey floods. 

During his life in East Bernard, Chris was very involved in the community. He was an active parishioner of Holy Cross Catholic Church and served as a member of the Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus and was a member of the KJT organization. He was an assistant scout master for the Boy Scouts of America, a Little League baseball coach, and an executive director of the Wharton County Youth Fair.

Chris was preceded in death by his parents Racy and Margaret Farkas King, his sister Carole Jo Nowak, his infant brothers Joseph Lee and Gregory Stephen, and nephews Bruno Nowak, Jr. and Douglas King. 

He is survived by his loving fiancée Deborah Guthman; son Ryan King and wife Katie; daughter Leslie King Quinnell and husband Eric; son Matthew King and wife Kesten; mother of his children Janet Smaistrla King; brothers Dennis King and wife Carolyn, James King, Karl King and wife Tynia; grandchildren Michael and Alex King, Logan, Emily and Lucy Quinnell, Warren, Harrison, and Nolan King; and numerous nieces and nephews. 

A  rosary was held at 7 p.m. Friday, July 26, at Holy Cross Catholic Church in East Bernard.  A funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, July 27, with Father Charles Otsiwah officiating and under the direction of the Knesek Family Funeral Chapel of Wallis. Burial follows at the Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery in East Bernard. Pallbearers are Ryan King, Matthew King, Eric Quinnell, Matthew Petrosky, Brent Mica, and Jesse Pitman. Honorary Pallbearers are Patrick King, Douglas King (posthumous), Brian King, Douglas Staff, and the employees of Wharton County Precinct 2.

Chris loved serving his community. In keeping with his spirit of service, remembrances may be sent to the East Bernard Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 1150, East Bernard, Texas 77435.