Barbara Estelle King
Barbara Estelle King was born and raised in the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on June 28, 1934, to the union of Melvin Ivory Beale and Anna Estell Thomas. She and her brother, Melvin T. Beale (deceased), grew up in the North Philadelphia section of the city.
Barbara received her formal education in the Philadelphia Public School system. After high school, she was a factory worker with Lady Van Heusen; however, most of her career, over twenty-five years, was spent with Joan Gross as a house manager for the Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, Interior Designer, and Decorator.
In August 1949, Barbara married Clarence Earl King Jr. (deceased). Four children were born into this union: Clarence E. King III (deceased), Steven I. King, Anthony E. King, and Debra D. King.
On January 5, 1968, Barbara joined The Philippian Baptist Church and was baptized on July 5, 1969. Barbara took seriously her Christian faith and membership in the Philippian family. She read her Bible daily while praying for everyone around her without ceasing. Barbara dutifully worked as a member of the Altar Guild before joining the Hospitality Club. Barbara enjoyed singing in the Women’s Day celebration choir and sending cards to acknowledge special events. She also ensured her children were active members of all youth activities; because it took a village. In addition to being a hard worker, Barbara was known to dress for the Lord with the many beautiful hats she wore each Sunday! Before she moved to Texas, some people asked her for her hats, telling Barbara it was too hot for hats in Texas.
Never a driver, Barbara enjoyed riding SEPTA to various destinations around Philadelphia. She was an excellent co-pilot, directing her drivers via the bus or train route to any place they wanted, but most notably, she loved shopping at the mall. Barbara also enjoyed line dancing with her Club 55 Plus group.
The travel bug pinched Barbara as she set foot on five of the seven continents. She wanted to see the world and enjoyed traveling with her friends and daughter and sometimes with herself. Some of her favorite countries were Australia, Barbados, Belarus, China, Canada, Egypt, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, and Spain. Her favorite cities were Paris, Chicago, and San Francisco.
Barbara also loved to cook a good meal, especially during the holidays. She was known for her stewed beef, macaroni & cheese, sweet potato pie, and the box cakes she ‘doctored up!’ There was always room for one more at her table, making anyone who visited feel welcome, well-fed, and right at home.
In June 2016, at 82, Barbara chose to move to The Woodlands, Texas. The Philippian Baptist Church members did not forget Sister Barbara King. Every week, members from the church were on the phone, keeping her engaged and up to date on the church and church business.
On Thursday morning, June 1, at 12:11 AM, God gently touched Barbara with His finger of love and whispered, Barbara, your work on Earth has ended; your feet no longer will trod; come on up a little higher to be with your God.
Barbara is survived by her children, Steven (Wanda), Anthony, Debra, and Kenny Ashe (play son); eight grandchildren; six great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, and a host of loving friends.