Jonnie King, a stylish and quick-witted matriarch, passed away on January 3, 2018 at the age of 93.
Born in Indianapolis on May 15, 1924, Jonnie displayed an early love of language. She was a 1942 graduate of Crispus Attucks High School, where she was the Spelling Bee Champion during her senior year. She also wrote poetry. Among friends and family, Jonnie became known for her sharp humor and her impressive way with words. She solved crossword puzzles in ink.
Jonnie's childhood as shaped by the death of her father, a veteran who died as a result of injuries suffered in World War I. She and her older brother were raised by their mother, who labored to provide the bare necessities. Yet, Jonnie credited her mother with making sure that she and her brother carried themselves with dignity, and always had clothes that were pressed, clean and fashionable. They met the world with confidence. Through her life, Jonnie maintained an elegant look, noted for her colorful pants suits and chic hats. She was proceeded in death by her mother, Beulah King; her father, Charlie King; and by her brother, Aubrey King.
Jonnie gave birth to one son and raised him as a single mother. She earned a living for several years with a job at the Indiana State Office Building. Later, she became one of the first black tellers at Merchants Banks. Eager to stay active and mentally astute, Jonnie worked part-time jobs well into her eighties.
As a mother, Jonnie proved to be a strong-willed, but fair disciplinarian. She could get her young son to quit misbehaving with just a look. She loved him and expected the best from him. As a grandmother, Jonnie doted on her "little darlings." She made sure to get a seat in the front row at every one of their recitals, plays and graduations. Jonnie is survived by her son, Charles Newson; her daughter-in-law, Dianne Newson; her niece, Ingrid Stubbs; three grandchildren, Rasheed, Marques and A'Ishah Newson; and two great-grandchildren, Josephine and Maxwell Ruane. Cousins; Annetee Hillard of Illinois, Elaine Hutton of Minnesota, Alan and Betty Little of Georgia and J.P. Foster of Nevada.
For more than 40 years, Jonnie was a member of New Covenant Church. She served for decades as an Usher during services. She was often called upon to be a spokesperson for the church, making formal announcements before the congregation and offering welcome to visiting worshipers. The essence of Jonnie's life can be encapsulated by scripture: "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." Rest in peace.
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