Robert Wendell King died April 14, 2017. Born in 1937 to Wendell B. King and Elizabeth Johnson King in Denver, Colorado, he graduated from Fort Collins High School in 1955, receiving his B. A. in English in 1959 at the University of Iowa. He obtained his M. A. in American Literature from Colorado State University in 1961, and returned to the University of Iowa to graduate with a Ph.D. in English/Creative Writing in 1965. He married Elizabeth Franklin in 1987, has three children, Lisa Borden-King (Minot), Lynn McGarry (Grand Forks), and Lawrence King (Bismarck), from a previous marriage, and has five grandchildren.
King taught at the University of Alaska/Fairbanks from 1965-68, receiving an Outstanding Teacher Award (1967), and then moved to the University of North Dakota where he taught in the English Department and the New School for Behavioral Studies in Education. This School became the nationally recognized Center for Teaching and Learning. He received the Outstanding Professor Award in 1971 and on his retirement he received the Burlington Northern Faculty Achievement Award for Excellence in Teaching, Research, Creative Activity, and Service. After his retirement he accompanied his wife to her new position at the University of Nebraska/Lincoln where he served as a Visiting Professor of English from 1995 to 2000, and taught as a lecturer at the University of Northern Colorado. He then started and directed the website www. ColoradoPoetsCenter.org.
King authored seven chapbooks of poetry—Standing Around Outside (1979) A Circle of Land (1990), Learning American (1998), Naming Names (2001), What It Was Like (2003), Rodin and Company (2011), and In The Empty Mountains (2016)—two full volumes of poetry (Old Man Laughing, 2007, and Some of Thee Days, 2013), and one of creative non-fiction (Stepping Twice into the River: Following Dakota Waters, 2005). He published essays, educational articles, creative writing curriculum, a travel series, short fiction, poems in over 70 magazines, and works in several anthologies.
Friends and family can share their thoughts and condolences online at Kibbey-Fishburn http://www.kibbeyfishburn.com/fh/obituaries. The family will be welcoming guests at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 3, at the Devereaux Room (Rialto Theatre Upstairs) 228 E. 4th Street, Loveland, CO 80537, followed by a Celebration of Life event at 4:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, or Americans United in care of Kibbey-Fishburn Funeral Home, 1102 N. Lincoln Ave., Loveland, CO 80537.
Published in The Coloradoan from Apr. 15 to Apr. 16, 2017