Flip King, 47

Philip George King or “Flip” a loving son, brother, uncle, great uncle and friend, was born Feb. 23, 1962, in Sturgis, and passed away in Jan. 1, 2010 in St. Joseph.

Philip was the “Michael Jackson” of the family. He was exotic, unpredictable, and humorous with a “twist.” He was also very intelligent, talented and good- natured.

Philip grew up in Sturgis. He loved the stage and often joined his parents, George and Phyllis King, in productions with Sturgis Civic Players. As a youngster, Philip, perfected the art of magic and loved to dazzle his friends and family with his magic shows.

While his sisters, Paula and Angela, were raising their families in Okemos and Portage, respectively, Philip made a special effort to bond with all of his nephews and nieces. Never losing his own inner child, he had an innate ability to connect and relate to them.

He was not just their beloved uncle, he was their friend. Entertaining them and spending time with them was never a “chore” but something he sincerely loved. He will be profoundly missed by his sisters’ children.

When Philip reached adulthood, he moved to New York City and later to Chicago. He loved the adventure and romance of “The Big Apple” and the “Windy City.” When he finally got homesick, he moved back to Michigan.

His legacy from the big cities was his experience with delicious food. Philip became a master at creating and reproducing exquisite cuisine, which he would plan and prepare to the delight of his family during the holidays. Each year, he would surprise and enchant his family with a culinary adventure we had never experienced before. Philip knew that preparing a sensational dinner was more than cooking food to perfection; it was also about presentation, and he was an absolute artist.

Philip had a talent for entertaining his family with subtle and ironic humor. He could see our flaws as well as our strengths and make fun of how seriously we took ourselves. He would tell it like it is and encouraged the rest of us to do so. We loved him for his honesty.

Philip was a warrior. He fought difficult battles the likes of which few of us could ever comprehend. Even the most valiant among us can succumb to the ravages of disease but it makes us no less courageous. Philip fought the good fight. He will be in our hearts forever.

Philip passed away in the home and loving care of his father, George King. George has been the source of strength and substance in sustaining Philip and our family during this difficult time. He is a man of enormous compassion and spiritual fortitude.

Philip is survived by his father and mother, George and Phyllis King; two sisters, Paula Zang and her husband, Paul Zang, and Angela Young and her husband, Russell Young; his nephews and nieces, Nathaniel Moleski, Katie Love and her husband Michael Love, Daniel Moleski, Eric Zang, and Anna Zang; and his grandnephew, Tyler Moleski and grandnieces, Audrey and Delaney Love.

A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held at 3 p.m. Friday at Starks & Menchinger Family Funeral Home, 2650 Niles Road, St. Joseph, with Fr. Dan Scheid officiating. Memorials may be made to Hospice at Home.

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