Hastings resident Theo A. “Pat” King passed away on Wednesday, December 22 at her home in the Kensington. Theo was watched over and lovingly cared for by the devoted staff at the Kensington, Tabitha Hospice, and her daughter Sally and son-in-law Carl Yanagawa.
Theo was born in Beatrice, NE to Charles and Amelia (Rutt) Sypherd on September 17, 1930, and moved to Hastings as a young child. She graduated from Hastings High School in 1948 and on June 16 of that year, she married the love of her life, Robert E. “Bob” King.
Theo’s joy in life was caring for her husband and daughter. She enthusiastically supported Bob and Sally in their pursuits at work and in school, cheering them on in each endeavor. The family home was comfortable, tidy, organized, and ran smoothly thanks to Theo’s efforts. She enjoyed baking and family dinners were not complete without a homemade dessert, most often a chocolate treat.
Theo could often be found outdoors, mowing, weeding, watering the yard, bird watching, and riding her bicycle. She routinely covered several miles each week pedaling to Lake Hastings and as far as Parkview Cemetery.
Following the death of her mother, Theo began volunteering for the Mary Lanning Healthcare Auxiliary and later, served on the Board. When she retired from the Auxiliary Theo recorded 3,636 hours as a volunteer.
Writing poems and short stories provided Theo with a creative outlet, a way to share some of her life’s meaningful moments. Friends and family often received personalized poems from Theo that marked special occasions in their lives.
Being an avid Cornhusker fan, one of the highlights of Theo’s years at the Kensington was a trip to Lincoln with residents to tour the football stadium at the University of Nebraska. Beloved staff members made it possible for her to stand on the fifty-yard line, a memory that she cherished.
Theo was proceeded in death by her parents, her husband Bob, brothers Donald and Jack, brother-in-law C.W. “Bill” King, sister-in-law Ellen King, nephews Patrick King, Jack Sypherd, Jr., Patrick Sypherd, and several maternal Aunts and Uncles.
At Theo’s request, there will not be a service. Instead, to borrow lyrics from one of her favorite songs “Beautiful Nebraska” by Jim Fras and Guy G. Miller, her ashes will be scattered in the “…peaceful prairie land, laced with many rivers and the hills of sand…” that she so loved. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Mary Lanning Healthcare Auxiliary, 715 N. St. Joseph Ave., Hastings, NE 68901 or the Kensington of Hastings, 233 N. Hastings Ave., Hastings, NE 68901.
Theo is survived by her daughter Sally (Carl) Yanagawa, Anacortes, WA, stepdaughters Kara Yanagawa, Portland, OR and Michelle (Phil) Robinson, El Lago, TX, nephews Doug (Twila) King and Will King, Willits, CA, and niece Nancy Mailliard, Healdsburg, CA.
Theo’s family extends heartfelt gratitude to the following: Dr. Kevin Wycoff, Dr. McKenzie Hemje, Dr. John Welch, Dr. Paul Dietze. Dr. Brent Hood, Tabitha Hospice, especially Rosie, Sheila and Heather, Sarah Fruehling, Tom Choquette, Chad Kudlacek, Jerri Knapple, Peter Lainson, Honey Lou and Darrell Bonar, and Theo’s extended family, the residents and staff at the Kensington of Hastings.