Hudson – Major Gerard Francis King died on October 4, 2023, at Cedar View Rehabilitation and Health Care Center in Methuen, Massachusetts. Jerry was born in Jamaica, NY on 13 Feb 1935 to Dorothy (Bennett) and Frank King.
On 8 February 1956, he and his college sweetheart, Adrienne Rasmussen, graduated from Queens College in Flushing, NY. They received their respective degrees and Jerry was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the USAF. Four days later they were married. Both at 21, they embarked on their life’s adventure.
Jerry reported at Lackland AFB, TX on 15 March 1956, for orientation. Adrienne joined him six weeks later. By August 1957, he had earned his Pilot Wings and qualified to fly the KC-97 Tanker. Assigned to the Strategic Air Command (SAC), he joined the 71St Aerial Refueling Squadron at Dow AFB, ME. He flew as a co-pilot for three years and completed a fourth year as KC-97 Aircraft Commander (A/C).
In August 1961, Jerry was assigned to a two-year BSEE degree program at the University of New Hampshire. On completion he was reassigned to the Electronic Systems Division (ESD), at Hanscom AFB, MA as a Test Engineer.
By late 1965, Jerry volunteered for an accompanied thirty-month tour on Okinawa. Arriving in September 1966, he was assigned to the 817th Tactical Airlift Squadron at Naha Air Base. He was soon checked out as a C-130 Aircraft Commander and flew missions throughout Southeast Asia. His tour ended in December 1968.
While on Okinawa, Jerry and Adrienne devised and implemented a strategy that provided a home base for their six children during the remaining Air Force Years. Jerry served a second tour at ESD in the Special Projects Office from January 1969 to June 1973, He also earned an MS in Engineering Management from Northeastern University. Assured of a return to ESD, Jerry volunteered for Base Commander, Grand Bahama Air Base (GBI). a tracking station for the Air Force Eastern Test Range. The family moved to Patrick AFB base housing for the year. All were back to Burlington by June1974. In June 1974, Jerry returned to ESD as Chief of Engineering and Test for a Phased Array Radar, Paves Paws. He had managed the preparation of the Proposal Package and the project was out for bid when he retired in March1976.
During his service, Jerry had earned his Command Pilot Wings and accrued 3300 hours in the air. His awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal (6) and the Air Force Commendation Medal (3), as well as several Unit Awards and Service Medals.
Jerry, Adrienne, and their six children were now formally settled Burlington MA per the plan. They had owned their home since February 1969. Initially, Jerry was employed by American Science and Engineering (AS&E) as a Program Manager on the development of a Space X-Ray Telescope called HEAO-B. Subsequently, He found a Program Management position at Dynamics Research Corporation (DRC) that evolved into a series of positions of increasing responsibility. Adrienne had been working as an Instructional Assistant in the Burlington school system since 1972 and continued there until they both retired for the last time in 1992. They remained in Burlington for the next fifteen years, then moved to a 55+ community in Hudson, MA.
During these years, they watched all their children complete college, traveled the globe, visited friends and helped their parents grow old. The entire family loved skiing and the sea shore. Jerry became the family genealogist, publishing several books on both their ancestral lines.
Jerry is survived by an extended family of 48. They are his six children and their spouses, Jerry King and Grace DeGennaro King, Chris and Patricia (Crans) King, Lisa and James Duffy, Steven and Joanne (Hulbert) King, David King and Daron Scarborough, and Julie and Reginald Lamere. There are thirteen grandchildren, Robert and Sarah (Cantin) King, Dylan and Gleici (Cardoza) King, Christopher and Theresa (Deorio) King, Kyle and Melissa (King) Smith, Chad Thompson and Rachel Duffy, Alex and Casey (Duffy) Thompson, Patrick Duffy, Jared King, Gavin King, A.J. and Johanna (King) Chua, Isaac Lamere, Adele Lamere, and Elsa Lamere. The nine great grandchildren are Connor King, Liv King, James Smith, Isaac Smith, June Prato, Amelia Thompson, Zoey Thompson, Harbor Chua and Henry King. Additionally, there are step-grandchildren, Andreas and Emma (Crans) Pleitz and Zachry Crans and three step great grandchildren, Ferdinand Pleitz, Beno Pleitz and Heidi Pleitz.
Visiting hours for Jerry will be held on Thursday, October 12, 2023, from 9:00-11:00am at the Slattery Funeral Home Inc., 40 Pleasant Street, Marlborough, MA 01752. A celebration of life will be held at the funeral home at 11:00am. Burial will follow at Chestnut Hill Cemetery, 54 Bedford Street, Burlington, MA 01803.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Disabled American Veterans at DAV P.O. Box 14301, Cincinnati, Ohio, 25250-9900.
The family requests no lilies.