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Published: Sunday, 10/7/2001

Dentist enjoyed making patients eager to smile

Dr. Kenneth J. King, a Toledo-area dentist for about 25 years who carried a golf handicap of about 5, died unexpectedly Friday in his Perrysburg home. He was 52.

He died of a blood clot in his leg that traveled to his heart, his wife, Heather Angel, said.

His King Dental Group, which has been in Maumee for about 10 years, employed about seven people. Earlier, he practiced in Toledo.

He started in dentistry in 1974 at the former Toledo Health & Retiree Center on West Woodruff Avenue.

By the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s, his group consisted of as many as seven dentists and as many as six locations.

He hired young dentists, accepted patients with government insurance that other practices didn't want, and made deals with labor unions.

But for about the last 10 years, he was the sole dentist in a practice that operated more traditionally.

“At the end of the day, Ken decided he would rather be a dentist than a businessman,” his older brother, Larry, said.

Dr. King's love of golf goes back to the 1960s when he and his brother were caddies for years at Inverness Club and studied the tactics of the best players at the Dorr Street course. He was a longtime member of the Brandywine Country Club and played in several tournaments. Dr. King grew up in West Toledo, the son of an engineer at Unitcast Corp. steel foundry.

“My father always stressed education and Ken took it to heart,” his brother said.

He attended Gesu School before graduating from St. Francis de Sales High School in 1967. His senior year he was a guard on its football team that won the city championship and he was named to the all-city list. He also wrestled at St. Francis. He went to the University of Toledo and then Ohio State University, graduating with his dentistry degree in 1974. He worked in construction and drove trucks during breaks to earn money for school.

“He always knew he wanted to be a dentist,” his brother said. “He had a lot of dental work done on him as a kid and said he knew the profession better than any other.”

Dr. King was good with his hands and enjoyed people, his brother said. He especially enjoyed the challenge of cosmetic work to make his patients eager to smile again, his wife said.

He married the former Heather Angel Mayes three weeks ago. They had lived in Perrysburg for about three years. He had lived most of his life in Maumee.

He followed boxing, restored vehicles, and always had a swim

Surviving are his wife, Heather Angel; daughters, Katherine, Jessica, and Amanda; son, Kenneth, Jr.; stepsons, Jason Ross and Wesley Avent; parents, Larry and Dora King; brother, Larry, and twin grandsons.

Services will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday in Coyle Funeral Home, where the body will be after 2 p.m. tomorrow.



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