Michael E. King

  • Born: October 16, 1944
  • Died: February 27, 2016
  • Location: Sterling, Illinois

McDonald Funeral Home

505 1st Avenue
Sterling, IL 61081

Tel. (815) 626-6311

Tribute & Message From The Family

Colonel Michael Edward King (Ret), 71 of Sterling, IL peacefully passed away in Iowa City at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center on February 27, 2016 surrounded by his family.

Michael was born on October 16, 1944 in Sterling, IL the son of Edward R. and Velma C. (Jones) King. He graduated from Newman Central Catholic High School in 1962. He attended Rockhurst College in Kansas City graduating in 1966 with a Bachelors degree in Business Administration. He received a MBA from Oklahoma City University in 1977.

Michael married Cheri Shumaker of Sterling on June 8, 1968.

Michael served his country proudly as a pilot in the United States Air Force, obtaining the rank of Colonel. He was commissioned May of 1968 and retired after 26 ½ years of services in July 1994. Michael then returned to his home town of Sterling, IL where he worked at National Manufacturing Company for 11 years.
Michael was a loving husband and supportive father. He had a passion for cars, loved to cook a good meal and the ability to connect with people from all walks of life. He was a lifelong member of St. Mary Catholic Church in Sterling, IL. He was a volunteer for the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Sterling and a member of the Sterling American Legion.

Michael was preceded in death by his parents, father-in-law, Clarence Shumaker, and 1 niece, Erica Lee Taylor.

He is honored and remembered by his wife Cheri of 47 years; his daughters Erin (Michael) Bickle of Edmond, OK and Ashley (Ryan) Roe of Grapevine, TX; grandchildren: Cooper and Parker Roe, Bennett, Bodie, Mackie and Blaise Bickle; his siblings: Sandra (Terry) Taylor of Renton, WA, Steven (Barbara) King of Sterling, IL, Mary (Roger) Martin of Geneseo, IL; his mother-in-law Betty Shumaker of Sterling, IL; brother-in-law Steven (Karen) Shumaker of Suffield, CT; many nieces, nephews and his sweet dog Reba.

A gathering of friends and family will take place on Sunday March 13, 2016 from 1-3 PM at the McDonald Funeral Home, 505 1st Avenue in Sterling. Celebration of the Mass of Christian Burial will follow on Monday at 10:30 AM in St. Mary Catholic Church in Sterling, with the Reverend James Keenan, Celebrant officiating. Military rites will conclude the services outside of the church.

Cremation rites will be accorded. Michael will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

Memorials can be made to St Mary Catholic Church and Catholic Schools in Sterling.


Condolence & Memory Journal

Mike and I attended Rockhurst University for four years and drove back and forth from Sterling and Davenport, Iowa. We had some great times, especially when we attended Mass together each year at the Fish. Mike honored us by being in our wedding. We met in Brussels when Mike was instructing pilots from NATO and I was the headmaster at St. John's Middle School. He will always be remembered, especially in our prayers.

Posted by John Lepetit - Greeley, CO - Friend   August 11, 2019

This is Peggy Kiefer Paynter and just aware of this in notice from Newman. So sorry to hear about this. I'm just great full to Mike for his friendship in school to John. God bless you.

Posted by Peggy Paynter - Peoria, AZ - Acquaintance   May 29, 2016

Cheri, Erin & Ashley,

We want to send our love and prayers to you, and let you know we are thinking of you all. We would've loved to make it to the service, but we'll be there in spirit.


Scott and Kristin

Posted by Scott and Kristin Roe - Leander, TX - Family   March 14, 2016


Our Sympathy & Prayers go out to your Family.

Posted by Rick, Chris & Noah Rucker - Rock Falls, IL - Coworker   March 13, 2016

Our deepest sympathy to Mike's family, will sure miss hearing his jokes at breakfast. May he rest in peace....

Posted by Al & Diane Rude - Sterling, IL - Friend   March 12, 2016

Our warm sympathies go to Cheri and to Mike's family, we hope all the good memories will soften your grief during this difficult time.

Bobbie and I will miss Mike greatly, he was one among the few of very good men. As a friend and fellow car guy we never had a dull moment and to his credit some of those moments were not that long ago.

Rest in peace my friend,
Denny and Bobbie Long

Posted by Denny and Bobbie Long - Brentwood, TN - Friend   March 12, 2016

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time of your great loss. Thinking of you.

Posted by Jackie & Von Blackburn - ROCK FALLS, IL - Friend   March 12, 2016

I was saddened to hear of Mike's passing. He was a great man and a great boss. One of my favorites! He touched my life and I will never forget him! It is because of him that I returned to school and it changed my life forever. So thankful to have known him. My thoughts are with his family as they say good bye to a great man and wishing them the peace they need at this time.

Posted by Becky Wilkinson - Rock Falls, IL - Coworker   March 11, 2016

Cheri & family: so saddened to hear about Mike's passing. We will say prayers for comfort for you and your family. We are thinking of you at this hard time

Posted by Jean and Rick Walrath - Mesa, AZ - Friend   March 10, 2016

I will always remember Mike as a friend and boss that always had time to listen and was always there if I needed someone to talk to- we had many laughs and also some tears at National. My prayers and thoughts are with the family.

Posted by Norma Lauts - Sterling, IL - Coworker   March 10, 2016

Many condolences to all of you, I always enjoyed any time spent in conversation with Mike. He was a great friend to my folks and will be missed!

Posted by Aubrey Boonstra - Berwyn, IL - Friend   March 09, 2016


Our parents thought a lot of Mike. My dad really enjoyed working with him at the National and both having been in Air Force added a great common bond. He loved the jacket Mike gave him when your family returned to Sterling. Our hearts and prayers are with you.


The family of Bill and Rose Mary Newell

Posted by William Newll Family - Sterling, IL - Friend   March 09, 2016

A Great Man that will be missed by all.

Posted by Ryan Roe - Grapevine, TX - Family   March 09, 2016

I was fortunate to serve as an instructor pilot with Mike in the AWACS aircraft, stationed at Tinker AFB, OK. He was a boss, a mentor, a friend and an exceptional human being. Both my wife, Susan, and I have fond memories of Mike, Cheri and the girls, and the fun times we shared together. My biggest regret is that our paths diverged after Tinker, and we did not stay as close as we should. He was a one-of-a-kind person who enriched everyone he came in contact with. He will be profoundly missed.

Posted by Ronald E. Nelson - Tualatin, OR - Served in the Military together   March 07, 2016


What a GREAT guy!!!!!! Miss that smile and laugh!! You will be missed by many.

Posted by Tom and Renee Davis - Downers Grove, IL - Friend   March 07, 2016

To Mike's Family, I am so sorry for you loss. I went to Rockhurst College with Mike. I consider him to be a good friend. We had great times at school and socially.Beacuse grew up in Davenport, Iowa, we would see each other in the summer.One summer I bought a new Volkwagen. I called Mike to invite him to Davenport so I could show him the car. He came over with his friend, Kiefer, They showed up at my house in Mike's new Corvette. We had a great time and I will miss him !!

Posted by Terry Thompson - Kansas City, MO - Friend   March 06, 2016

Great Guy & Friend ! Wonderful Memories ! May He Rest in Peace!

Posted by Thomas Meyer - Chippewa Falls, WI - Classmate   March 05, 2016

Many fond memories of Mike. We both shared a misguided love of motorcycles and fast cars. And we remember the day Karen surfed down your foyer wall. God Bless. A great guy and a good friend. Our sympathies

Posted by David Johnston - Spring Lake,, MI - Friend   March 04, 2016

Cheri- I am so sorry to hear about Mike. You and your family are in my thoughts.

Posted by Cheryl Taube - St Anne, IL - Neighbor   March 04, 2016

Michael was a superb AF leader, a friend and many times a co-conspiritor! Such wonderful memories of our time working together in AWACS and the ALC. A man who God gave an extended time here on earth, and Michael made his Maker proud of how he used that time. Carolynne and I are keeping Cheri and the whole family in our prayers. May God give you all the strength and courage to carry on!

Posted by Wayne Bechler - Edmond, OK - Served in the Military together   March 03, 2016

I am humbled and proud to have flown, served, laughed and played with a much better man. He stood up for his country and when he did, others wanted to stand beside him.
God Bless and Keep Colonel Mike King

Posted by Tom O'Neill - Edmond, OK - Friend   March 03, 2016

So sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Memories of happy times will bring some smiles to help through this very difficult time for you and family.

Posted by Pat Keigley Hyde - Roscoe,, IL - Friend   March 03, 2016

Mike was one of eight pilots assigned to bring the AF's AWACS aircraft on line in 1976 at Tinker AFB, OK. I was one of the 8 and was fortunate to be teamed up with Mike as Instructor Crew number 4. Unfortunately, I broke a bone and had to become the full time simulator pilot while Mike transition to the real E3A and left me way behind. Mike was a great pilot and instructor. A professional in every sense of the word.. The Air Force was a better unit because of him and we will miss him.

Posted by John Tagnes, Colonel , USAF,Ret. - Winchester,, VA - Friend   March 03, 2016

A true friend. He will be missed.

Posted by Ed Martinez - Carlsbad, CA - Classmate   March 03, 2016

Mike lived just a block away from me during our high school years. Our class mates would tease Mike and myself because we blushed so easily. I remember many parties at his house. We sadly say good bye to another classmate and an outstanding man.

Posted by Sandy Buchmeier Cook - Chandler, MI - Friend   March 02, 2016



Posted by CAROL ROCK - Dixon, IL - Classmate   March 02, 2016

So sorry to hear about Mike. I have many memories of our time together in the in the high school days.

Posted by Tom Finnegan - Friend   March 02, 2016