Master Chief Thomas Melvin King, aka “Coupeville Curmudgeon,” passed away peacefully, in the arms of Jesus, after a three-year battle with cancer on Feb. 3, 2021.
He was born July, 15, 1941 to Melvin and Dorothy King in Wenatchee, Wash. After graduating from Wenatchee High School in 1959 and two years of Junior College, he joined the U.S. Navy in 1962. He served in VQ-1 at Atsugi, Japan, VA-128 and VA-196 at NAS Whidbey Island, Commander Medium Attack Wing Pacific, VA-115 at Yokosuka, Japan and, finally, CMVWP at NAS Whidbey Island. He retired in 1983 as maintenance master chief. He then worked for Naval Air Systems Command for the A-6 program at NAS Whidbey Island; retiring again in 2003.
Master Chief King was awarded many metals, including Vietnam Service and Campaign, good conduct and six air medals while flying as an aircrewman in EA-6B aircraft. While in the Navy, he served as president of the Whidbey Island Chiefs Club. After retiring from DCS Corp. in 2003, his love of golfing, fishing and crabbing filled his days in retirement. He served two terms as a board member of Whidbey Golf Club and, while a member, won the stroke and match play championships and two senior club championships.
He is survived by his son, Kevin; daughter, Tawnya; sister, Judi Moore; five granddaughters; and five great grandchildren.
His remains will be interred at Tahoma National Cemetery, Kent, Wash., sometime this summer, dependent on pandemic conditions.