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1937 Martin 2017

Martin King

October 10, 1937 — February 6, 2017

Dr. Martin Francis King of Jackson Hole died on Monday, February 6, 2017 while listening to music and holding hands with his wife.

Marty’s intelligence, sense of humor, kindness and empathy bound him to his family and friends. Those closest to him were most struck by his deep concern for others, his humility in the face of the successful life he built (despite his difficult upbringing), and his outgoing and gregarious nature. He was a wonderful and loving father who exemplified his core values of intellectual curiosity, education, and empathy. It was the combination of these remarkable traits that made him a great man.

Marty was born in Boston on October 10, 1937 to Thomas and Catherine King and grew up in the strong Irish culture of the Dorchester area of South Boston. Raised almost entirely by their mother who fought to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table, Marty and his brother, Tom, took strikingly different paths. While Marty led a life of educational pursuit, Tom became involved in organized crime and was later murdered by then rival and later notorious mob boss Whitey Bulger in 1974.

Marty worked odd jobs while attending two of Boston’s greatest schools: Boston Latin School, the oldest public high school in the country, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.). Graduating with a BS degree from MIT (1955-1959) in mathematics, he took a job with IBM in New York City where he worked as a programmer on one of world’s first mainframe computers.

Upon earning his MD at the University of Rochester Medical School (1960-1965), Marty returned to Boston for his residency at Harvard Medical School’s teaching hospital, acting as Teaching Fellow in Pathology. It was during those years that he met and married Flora King. They had two sons, David (born in Boston, 1967) and Anthony (born in San Antonio, 1972).

Joining the Air Force after deferred enlistment, Major Martin F. King, MD taught and practiced pathology at the Wilford Hall medical center, where he was promoted to Chief, Surgical Pathology. He then accepted a position at a private pathology practice in Corpus Christi, Texas. They raised their boys, enjoyed community life, and made many good friends.  Marty and Flora divorced during those years.

In 1991, Marty retired, as a Partner, from medical practice to return to his first love—the study of mathematics and physics.  At this time, Marty began his life with Meléne Dodson, a local lawyer and judge who had been a friend for years. Marty and Meléne moved to Austin, Texas in 1997, where Meléne could continue to work and Marty could take classes at the University of Texas.  When Meléne retired in 2001, they moved to Jackson Hole. Marty hiked, read, made friends, and lived the Hole Life. He truly loved the Valley and the community here, particularly his neighbors in Rafter J, with whom he developed deep and enduring friendships.

In 2007, Marty was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and became Patient One in a very aggressive tandem transplant protocol at the Huntsman Cancer Center in Salt Lake City.  He survived the treatment and, although physically undermined and weakened, the treatment gave him another decade with Meléne, his family and his friends.

Marty is survived by his wife and partner of 26 years, Meléne Rowe Dodson; by his sons David M. King and Anthony A. King; his step sons Avram R. Dodson and Joseph A. (Austin) Dodson; his daughters-in-law Natalie King, Kara King and Priya Sircar-Dodson; and his grandchildren Katherine King (16), Walker King (13), Gabriella King (13), Samuel Martin King (11), and Lekha Sircar-Dodson (1 month).

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