Friday, July 23, 2021
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Please join us for a Life Story Visitation where food, drinks, and stories will be shared.
Saturday, July 24, 2021
11:00 AM EDT
West Oshtemo Cemetery
747 S. 1st St
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
When reflecting on the life of Laura King it is easy to see her unwavering strength and her unconditional love for her family. She truly understood the value of hard work and responsibility and was inspiration to so many who were near. Nothing brought Laura greater joy than spending time with her loved ones, and she was so proud to witness her family tree blossom to include children and grandchildren. She always found contentment in simple pleasures, even when the storms of life came her way. Deeply loved, Laura will be forever missed.
Life in America during the 1950s was exciting. We were eager for brighter days after the end of WWII in 1945, and the years that followed were prosperous ones. Elvis Presley transformed the music industry with his rock ’n roll music, and top stars like James Dean and Marilyn Monroe entertained us on the big screen. It was also during this time that Charles and Martha King were pleased to announce the birth of the baby girl they named Laura Helen on February 28, 1958 in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Growing up, Laura was a typical young girl of her generation. She was raised in the family home alongside her siblings, Kenneth, Stephen, Elizabeth, and Carol. Laura was a perfect angel throughout her childhood, and she never seemed to get into trouble. However, when her father was teaching her to ride a bicycle, he reminded her not to hit the garage. As fate would have it, she ended up riding straight through the back wall! Laura began building her strong work ethic as a student and graduated from Loy Norrix High School, ready to move on to bigger and better things.
Laura eventually found a fulfilling career at Walmart as a “customer service engineer,” as her family eloquently calls it. She enjoyed being around people and was accepting of individual uniqueness. The customers liked Laura, and she was always willing to help in all ways great or small. She formed many long-lasting friendships with those around her, and thanks to her caring spirit she was a perfect fit for the job.
New and exciting changes were on the horizon for Laura as she met Norman Marr. The two often saw each other while she was working at the gas station in Mattawan. He would bring his grandson to the gas station they referred to as “the M&M store” where he would buy candy. Around the holidays, Norman would dress as Santa Claus and joyfully deliver gifts and Christmas cheer to his favorite locals. Laura quickly fell for him, and over the years their relationship continued to deepen. Shortly after moving in with Norman, he gave her a tiny silver angel, which Laura carried in her pocket everywhere and every day for 17 years since.
Norman enjoyed offering Laura new experiences and special moments they could share together. Before long, Laura and Norman went on a vacation to Hawaii along with other family members. They visited Maui and were simply awestruck at the natural beauty. Swimming in the ocean with the dolphins was the experience of a lifetime and the memories made there were some of the absolute happiest.
In her free time, Laura kept busy pursuing many hobbies. She enjoyed Harley Davidson motorcycles. Norman took Laura for her first motorcycle ride and she was instantly hooked. She even went to Baldwin for the Blessing of the Bikes. A good romantic or comedy flick always captured her attention as well. Movies like Ted, Mrs. Doubtfire, and My Big Fat Greek Wedding were among her favorites and could be seen over and over with just as much laughter.
Of all the things Laura loved in life, she treasured her family above all else. She devoted herself to raising her daughters, Shana and Caroline, and Norman’s family became very close as well. Laura was thrilled to become a grandmother. Of course, when her grandchildren’s school had an “invite someone special day,” they invited Grandma Laura. She never missed a birthday party or sporting event including soccer games, track meets and baseball games. Kim, a friend who was as close as a sister, was also an essential part of Laura’s life. The two enjoyed their shopping trips, or “retail therapy,” together among many other things and as Laura was battling cancer, Kim was by her side with support and encouragement through her treatments.
Though Laura was always on the quiet side, she had a way of making an impact on those around her. She and Norman enjoyed going out to eat together, especially for breakfast. Ted and Marie’s Restaurant was a particular favorite where they’d often meet with friends. Laura, even with her humble demeanor, still became the popular one of the group.
All who knew Laura King would agree she truly had a heart of solid gold. She was a constant source of strength, even in the most difficult of times. She was always willing to help those in need, she cherished those closest to her, and she strove to be a shining example of hard work, perseverance, and selfless compassion. Although she will be deeply missed, Laura leaves behind a priceless legacy that her loved ones will proudly carry on in her footsteps.
Laura Helen King, age 63, died on July 20, 2021. Laura was preceded in death by her father and her brother, Kenneth. Surviving are her fiancé, Norman Marr; 2 children: Shana Melson and Caroline Bergeon; grandchildren: Michelle, Skyler, and Charleigh; siblings: Stephen (Ann) King, Elizabeth King and Richard, and Carol King and Paul; her mother; and many nieces, nephews, and friends who were just as close as family, especially her best friend, Kim.
Please join us at a Life Story Visitation where food, drinks, and stories will be shared on Friday (JULY 23) 5-7 PM at Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo 269-375-2900. Burial will take place Saturday (JULY 24) 11 AM at West Oshtemo Cemetery. Visit Laura’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos, and sign her guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to SPCA of Southwest Michigan.