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Arthur W. "Art" King

Southeast Alaskas Island News of Thorne Bay, Alaska

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Arthur W. "Art" King, 76, died on January 5th, 2012 in Craig after a long & hard-fought battle with cancer. An innovator in the state's shellfish farming industry and long-time community leader, Art was born October 1,1935 to Casper and Margaret King in Portland, Oregon.

He attended high school in Portland before enlisting in the Navy in 1952. Art was honorably discharged in 1956 after serving in the Korean war. Mr. King moved to Cle Elum, Washington in the late 50's. In the early 1960's Art was the owner/operator of a mink ranch, in the late 60's he owned & operated a Tavern named The Brass Bucket. Art sold his tavern and moved to Sequim Washington in 1972. In Sequim he ran King Arthur's fish plant in the late 1970's and early 80's. In 1987, Art married Claire. Together they built Alder Springs Smoked Salmon company but, alas, the ocean called. Mr. King sold his smoked salmon business to start a charter boat operation. He owned and captained the Blue Dolphin in Port Angeles, Sequim & Neah Bay Washington. When the fishing industry declined in Washington, Art and Claire bought a float house and moved it to Orr Island in Sea Otter Sound and began Alaskan Dreams, a lodge offering chartered fishing trips. After 9 years at the lodge, Art and Claire sold the Blue Dolphin, as well as the lodge, and moved back to land. They set up a laundry mat and cabin rentals in Naukati, Alaska.

Art & his wife Claire were honored by the U.S. Forest Service as Citizens of the Tongass in 2004 in recognition of their active involvement in community service. Mr. King served on his community's governing body for a decade, & was active in regional economic development groups (POW CAC & S.E. Conference) and served as an officer of the Alaskan Shellfish Growers Association. Art loved lobbying in Juneau for funds for his community. He helped secure funding for numerous community initiatives, including several road projects, moorage dock, school and fire hall. He also helped secure two land sales in Naukati and spearheaded a successful effort for return of historic steam donkey to Naukati.

Mr. King was honored by shellfish growers for his tireless and innovative efforts to help to expand the number of oyster farms in coastal Alaska. He managed a campaign to fund the construction of an oyster nursery in Naukati, secured grant funding for initial operating costs & volunteered his time to manage the operation. He also developed a program to assist Alaskans to start new farms in rural areas that was lauded by shellfish aquaculture advocates at the World Aquaculture Society. "Art was a community leader and advocate for coastal Alaska & Alaska shellfish farmers," a close friend recently said. "He had a hands-on vision of how to make his community prosperous while also helping the rest of coastal Alaska. He gave his all to meet those twin goals." Arthur King was preceded in death by his parents, Casper and Margaret King, his sister Mary King, and a great grandchild. He is survived by his wife, Claire King, Prince of Wales, brother, Thomas King, Peris California sister, Lois Rinke, Tennessee. Children, Bobbi Jo Semenoff of Langley B.C., Debbie King-Hake of Maple Valley, WA, Kelly Sheppard of Currumbin, Queensland, Australia, Theresa McClain of Redmond WA, Laura Wilson of Craig, AK and Chad Carow of Craig, AK. Grand children, Mikaela, Alex, and Tanya Semenoff, Whitney & Kayli Kauzlarich, Matthew & Hannah Sheppard, Samantha & Nathan Wilson, & Jared & Issabel-la Carow.

Services for Art King will be held on Saturday, April 28,2012 at 11 am at the Naukati Church.

Copyright 2012 Southeast Alaska's Island News, Thorne Bay, Alaska. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: April 25, 2012

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