Kings look back on busy life

Longtime Prince George residents Neil and Darlene King were both born, raised and educated in southern Alberta.  

Neil was born in Crossfield. He worked on the family farm and in construction until he found work with the Alberta Pacific Grain company in Viking.  

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Neil loved sports and if he wasn’t playing baseball or hockey, he was at the curling rink throwing rocks and sweeping the ice every chance he got. In fact, he was at the curling rink the day he met Darlene Fadden-Bogi.

Darlene – the eldest of five children - was born in Banff and grew up on a ranch near Brooks. For some reason she always said that she wanted to marry a cowboy.

After high school, she worked at the Banff School of Fine Arts until she got married. She remembers the day well when she met Neil at the curling rink. He wasn’t the cowboy she always dreamed about but that dream no longer mattered because they had so many other things in common. 

When Neil learned that he was being transferred to Dawson Creek, he asked Darlene for her hand in marriage. The young couple got married and they moved to Dawson Creek where they started what would be an ongoing 60-years of a good marriage.

They bought a house and started their family of three children. For 10 years, they boarded out of town high school students who became lifelong friends.    

When the children started to arrive, Darlene became a stay-at-home mom. Their two sons, Blake and Todd, were born in Dawson Creek and their daughter Niki was born later in Prince George. They now have five granddaughters, a grandson, two great granddaughters and two great grandsons that continually bring them much happiness. Like most grandparents and great grandparents, they are confident when they say that these children are all perfect in every way.

In 1965, Neil left the grain company and went to work for BC Tel. He took a transfer to Prince George in 1969. Later, they bought property at Norman Lake and in their spare time they built the family cabin which they enjoyed for many years.

Darlene was a stay-at-home mom until the children were in high school.  At first, she worked at an electronics firm, but said that working for Barry Yip in his video store was the best job ever and that he was the best boss in the world.

Over the years she volunteered for everything to do with their children. She volunteered with the public libraries shut-in program for 30 years delivering books and spending time with the clients. Her main passion other than family has always been her love of golf and curling.

Neil had an extensive and fulfilling career at B.C. Tel and retired as the Area Customer Service manager in 1996.

His retirement was short lived as he took over as the General Manager of the Prince George Golf and Curling Club and later the office manager at the Wilson King Law Office.

If he wasn’t at their cabin at Norman Lake or at the golf and curling club enjoying curling and some serious golfing with Darlene, he was at home honing his woodworking skills in his shop.

Neil served as the executive director for the BC Interior Curling Association and the chair of the 2000 Scott Tournament of Hearts. Over the years, he was a member of curling teams that won two Kelly Cup Bonspiels, a member of various teams that competed in two telephone company national curling championships and a team that placed second in a Senior Men’s National Curling Championship.  

With his involvement in curling, Neil and Darlene attended many Brier’s and Scott Tournament of Hearts all over Canada.  

With the support of Darlene and his family, he has always been willing to give back to his community.

He proudly held the position as the first president of the Prince George Sports Hall of Fame and served as a director for the Prince George Golf and Curling Club, the Prince George Savings/Integris Credit Union and the Prince George Airport Authority.

As a member of the Nechako Rotary Club he served as the club president. He was selected as the Rotarian of the year by his club and received the Paul Harris Fellowship Award in 1994. Neil was the Governors Representative for area 3, for three years prior to being nominated by his club and then selected for District Governor by the district nominating committee in 1998.

He has been a member of the Masonic Lodge for nearly 50 years.

Neil and Darlene have spent the last 12 winters in Arizona and made many long-lasting friendships with people from all over Canada and the United States. They are not sure what their traveling future will look like until COVID-19 comes to an end.  In the meantime, they are content to stay here and enjoy a good life with their great family and friends.

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