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1937 - 2017

John E. King, M.D. (I ’68, GI ’70)

John Edwin King, 77, of Rochester, passed away peacefully on March 31, 2017, at Mayo Clinic Hospital, Saint Marys Campus, after an eight-year battle with lupus.

John was born Nov. 10, 1939, in Charleston, W.Va., to Frances King (Hankins) and Edward King. His family moved to Beaumont, Texas, where he graduated from South Park High School in 1957. He attended Northwestern University and received a degree in chemistry in 1961. He met his wife, Judy, at Northwestern when he was a sophomore and she was a freshman. They shared a passion for the Wildcats throughout their marriage of 55 years.

John graduated from Northwestern University Medical School in 1965, and completed his residency training in internal medicine and fellowship in gastroenterology at Mayo Clinic in 1970. He served in the Air Force at Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth, Texas‬, before returning to Rochester to join the staff of Mayo Clinic as a consultant in 1972.

John had a distinguished career, serving as a gastroenterologist at Mayo for 33 years, retiring in 2004. During that time he played leading roles in patient care, research, and education. He pioneered new endoscopic methods to diagnose diseases of the pancreas, liver and gallbladder. He collaborated with Mayo physicians and scientists to develop a clinical registry for patients with inherited colorectal cancer. He was a dedicated educator, teaching medical students, residents, and leading his colleagues in the development of new medical curricula. He helped educate patients, serving as editor-in-chief of the lay publication Mayo Clinic on Digestive Health.

John was a kind and modest man with a great sense of humor. He was dedicated to his family, and is survived by his sister, Rosemary; his wife, Judy; his children, Randy and Cathy, their spouses, Suzanne Bender and Gary Pierce; his grandchildren, Sarah, Ethan, Carolyn and Jonathan; and his beloved dog, Lucy.

While growing up in Texas, John spent many happy summers at his grandparents’ farm near Eureka, Ill. He loved visiting his aunts, uncles and cousins, and developed a lifelong passion for horses and the serenity of pastoral life. In Rochester, he loved living in the country with his family and their horses, Lucky and Soda. His passion for nature was also reflected in his joy of fishing and his love for the Decorah eagles.

The family would like to thank Dr. Henry Schultz and Dr. Kevin Moder for their compassionate care of John during his long struggle with lupus. They are also grateful to the doctors, nurses and personal care attendants who cared for him on Joseph 3B at Saint‬ Marys during the last week of his life. They are also appreciative of the dedicated support provided by Dave and Tami Emerick.

A memorial service, led by the Rev. Elizabeth Macaulay, will be held 2 p.m. Sunday, April 9‬, at Christ United Methodist Church, 400 5th Ave. SW, Rochester‬. The family will welcome visitors beginning at 1 p.m‬.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial gifts to the Decorah Eagles Raptor Research Project, the Lupus Foundation of America or Mayo Medical School.

Obituary courtesy of Rochester Post-Bulletin

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