Louis Frank King
19th April 1924 - 16th January 2008
Wednesday 30th January 2008, 11.00am
St. Mary Magdalene Church, Hilton
Address by Rev. Harvey Marshall
Each of us will have come here today with different memories of Louis. There are many words that can describe him. To use phrases like, an icon, figure-head or institution are not amiss because Louis was all these and others beside. It is not often that one say "he died just a few feet from where he was born", but it was true of Louis. He was born in 1924 in a cottage just feet away from Beech Cottage where he died peacefully in his favourite armchair on the 16th.
No sooner had Louis started work the second world war was upon us and he spent those wartime years working as a farmer for Oldmans. When the war finished he went to night school and studied to become an electrician and went to work fora company in St. Ives called Nesbitt. From there he moved on to the paper mill at Little Paxton, after a time there he took on the roll of Maintenance Man at Atcost before finally setting up his own business. In later years he enjoyed woodcarving and a lifelong hobby of fishing. His heart was in the community and for the community and some of you will have strong memories of all that he did in and for the village.
My own memories I share with you now. I first met him thirty six years ago, as I said at his wife's funeral, when as a new-comer I would stop on the way home from work and buy strawberries from them, quite a novelty for a east-ender like me. But I really came to know Louis when Dorothy passed away and I sat in the front room opposite him in his armchair discussing the life they had shared for nearly as many years as I had birthdays. Here was a big man whose life had just fallen apart yet through the tears and the pain of grief he emitted a aura of gentleness and concern for the family. It was this vision that came to me when I was told of his death.
The other lasting memory I have of Louis, strange it may seem, is of his hands. They were huge, and yet when outstretched to receive communion child-like, I often thought of Ruth and Mary as children being reprimanded by him with those hands. I bet they never did the same thing wrong again.
Today I and some of you will see the end of an era for Louis was one of a few who were born, lived their entire life and died in Hilton. It was for this reason that I chose that reading from scripture. It comes right at the end of the Bible and in some ways reflects today for we say goodbye to part of the history of Hilton and I am sure that Louis would agree we look toward a new era.
As we say our goodbyes we thank God for a life full of love for all around and for service to the village that will be remembered for years to come because I hope that the book that Louis wrote, A Walk Through Hilton in the 30s will be published.