John P. King, 70, Watertown

WATERTOWN, NY —  When you first entered the home of John Paul King, it would not have been uncommon to find him sitting at the head of his hand-built dining room table, tinkering. An array of tools and bits and bobs would be spread in front of him. To you, it might look like chaos, but to him everything had a place and a purpose and was arranged within easy reach. He might not notice you immediately, but when he did, he would put his large aviator-style glasses back on, smile, and stand up to welcome you into his home.

John was born in Pittsburgh, PA, the third of nine children. In his wild years, he wandered the country by rail, motorcycle and his own two feet with a guitar in his hands. Eventually, he found himself at the counter of a restaurant in Lebanon, PA where he always ordered the same thing: a cheeseburger with extra pickles. Here he met Ellen Lineaweaver, the daughter of the owners and his future wife.

They started a family together, moved first to Manhattan, then New Jersey and finally to Watertown when the Post Office gave him the choice between there and Puerto Rico. Better a long winter than hurricanes. They had five children—Elijah (m. Hannah Rayno), Joseph (m. Sara Buffum), Andrew (m. Jacqueline Holmes), Hannah (m. Corey Pentoney), and John (engaged Rebekah DePugh)—and settled into life in Watertown. Ellen homeschooled the kids, while John worked as an electronic technician for the Post Office until he retired in 2009.

In his retirement, you might find him telling stories to his granddaughters—Emma, Abigail, Bella, and Amelia—working on his 1983 Mercedes, fixing a watch, painting, playing his violin or penny whistle, or relaxing in the backyard surrounded by friends and family. He never stopped looking for adventure.

In 2010 he took Ellen and John on a road trip across the country. A few years later, they packed up and flew to Sri Lanka as missionaries, following the call of Jesus. John was always filled with the love of Jesus and followed Him in everything he did.

On Wednesday, March 31, 2021, after a battle with cancer, John Paul King followed Jesus one last time, at the age of 70.

When you remember John King, remember his wide smile that crinkled his eyes; his deep laugh; his heart that always sought Jesus and the path of faith and love; remember his willingness to help anyone, fix the unfixable, find the unfindable. Remember, most of all, him sitting at the head of his table, hands folded in front of him, ready to share, to teach, to help, to tinker, to welcome you with love and an open heart.

No public services will be held. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Hospice of Jefferson County, 1398 Gotham St. Watertown, NY 13601.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Cleveland Funeral Home, Inc., Watertown.