Shirley Ruth Wells King

Shirley Ruth Wells King is surrounded by photos of all her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. “The cup of coffee is a cup that she brought from New York to Florida over 40 years ago,” writes her daughter,” Lori O. King-Kocsis. “She loved her cup of coffee.”

Shirley Ruth Wells King, a mother of six children, was a creative cook known for the maple cream she produced on her family’s sugarbush in Knox. “Always learning, always sharing, always loving and caring,” is how her family described her in a tribute.

 She died on Tuesday, June 18, 2016, surrounded by her children. “Held in loving thoughts and prayer by all of those who have loved her and witnessed the powerful impact she had while here in the physical world,” her family wrote.

The family’s tribute begins, “On Feb. 13, 1935, the world became a better place with the birth of Shirley Ruth Wells.  She was born in Warsaw, New York and was greeted by her mother, Edith, and father, Earl Wells. Eagerly awaiting her arrival was her sister, Betty.  The two girls were minus one day away from a year apart, with Betty’s birthday the very next day on the 14th.”

The family lived through the Great Depression and World War II; the girls gathered books for the soldiers and maintained a Victory Garden. Farm life was filled with fun and long days with chores and school.

In 1949, the family moved to Albany with their dad, Edward Huber.  A year later, the family moved to their farm, Edenwald in Voorheesville. Ms. King began her junior year at Voorheesville’s high school. “After graduating, Shirley was thrilled to marry her first love, Irwin H. King, in 1954, and gave birth to their firstborn, a son, in 1955,” her family wrote.

“Having birthdays close together is just one thing Shirley and her sister, Betty, share; they had children close together and quite a few of them. They also had a delightful surprise meet them shortly after the birth of their own first babies — a new baby sister, Margie, a beautiful baby girl who gave great joy to her mother and father at Edenwald,” her family wrote. “More sisters and brothers were added to the Huber family; though not little babies, they were welcomed and loved — Sue, Eugene, and Ralph.  For Shirley and her sister Betty, babies and lots of children were a theme in their busy lives, eventually having six children each.   

“Years later, Shirley and Irwin, along with their children moved to Knox, where they managed a farm and a maple syrup business and raised their six children.  Some of Shirley’s fondest memories were when the schoolchildren came to the farm for field trips on buses to tour the sap house; they would eat ‘sugar on snow’ and were greeted by the family dogs, Moxie and Shep.

“She made a highly-sought-after maple cream in the kitchen, burning out several blender motors in the process. Animals were also a theme, there were horses, cows, and pigs, and family pets. She was surrounded by everything she loved and was very happy at the farm.

“Whenever you stepped into the kitchen, you would find Shirley cooking something. She worked hard at finding ways to stretch a menu to feed a family of eight.  She liked to make creative dishes and always had a recipe she wanted to try.  Some of her favorites and her family’s were: her famous Noodle Pleaser, Potato Salad, Swedish Meatballs, Bread Pudding, Sticky Plum Ribs, Chocolate Decadent Cake made special for birthdays, and baked beans with maple syrup — all made with hefty doses of love.  Every day began with a cup of coffee. Shirley loved her coffee.  

“In 1975 Shirley and the children moved to Port Orange, Florida where they were near her parents and sisters, Betty and Marge.  Reading books, making quilts, and seeing her children and grandchildren kept her busy and happy. Through the years, she enjoyed every moment she had with visits from all of her children, her 18 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren, and probably already knows who the two babies on the way are (she always liked to be in the know!)

“She loved being a homemaker, feeding the birds, and taking care of many cats and kittens through the years. Shirley was a fan of the Food Network show, Animal Planet, and Survivor, she also has a long list of authors she enjoyed, and was surrounded by books...

“If you asked Shirley what her proudest accomplishment in life was, she would give one answer with six distinct accomplishments: her children.  Beginning with her firstborn son, Jeffrey, then Linda, Lori, Irwin, and two more girls, Leah and Allison. She loved them unconditionally, was proud of them and left them with the knowledge that they were loved deeply and cherished beyond infinity.

Quoting author Isla Richardson, her family wrote, “She left these words of comfort to her children and loved ones: “We cannot see beyond…But this I know, I loved you so, ’twas heaven here with you!”


Shirley Ruth Wells King is survived by her sisters, Betty Ahr and Marjorie Renko, Sue Aube, and brother, Ralph Huber. She is also survived by her children, Jeffrey L. King, Linda R. Quay, Lori O. King-Kocsis, Irwin H. King, Leah G. Oliver, Allison E. Goebel, and her daughters- and sons-in law, LeighAnn King, David Quay, Paul King-Kocsis, Steven Oliver, and Tracey Goebel; 18 grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren.

Her mother, Edith Huber, died before her as did her father, Earl Wells; her Dad, Edward Huber; and her brother, Eugene Huber.

Services were held on June 22 at Lohman Funeral Home in Port Orange, Florida.

The family thanks the staff of Davita Dialysis Center in New Smyrna, Florida. “They were professional at all times and gave Shirley many smiles through long days in dialysis over the last two years,” the family wrote.

Memorial contributions may be made to The Halifax Humane Society of Port Orange, Florida.

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