Stephen J. King, 81, Beth Steel manager

March 16, 2003

Stephen J. King, a retired manager at the Buffalo Tank division of Bethlehem Steel Corp., died at his Pasadena home Tuesday of congestive heart failure. He was 81.

Born in East Baltimore, Mr. King attended St. Bernard parochial school before graduating from Calvert Hall College High School in 1939. He studied drafting at the old Maryland Institute.

Mr. King spent much of his life figuring out new ways to support his ever-expanding brood, which grew to 13 children. At one point he held four jobs.

He spent 28 years at Buffalo Tank at Sparrow's Point, first as an estimator and later as a manager. In the evenings he taught commercial drawing at Patterson High and other schools around the city. On weekends, he ran a residential construction firm.

"We never wanted for anything," said his oldest daughter, Stephanie Chicca of Berlin. Except perhaps for time alone in the family's four-bedroom, two-bathroom house on Greenland Beach Road in Pasadena.

At one point, Mrs. Chicca said, 19 people lived in the house. When it came to morning showers, "we were in and out," she recalls.

Mr. King volunteered much of his scarce free time to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, Our Daily Bread and other organizations devoted to the poor. He was a parishioner for 57 years at St. Jane Frances de Chantal Roman Catholic Church in Riviera Beach.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 11 a.m. tomorrow at the church, 8499 Virginia Ave.

In addition to his daughter and wife of 59 years, the former Madelin Dolan, Mr. King is survived by six other daughters, Denise King and Melanie Rhodes of Berlin, Andrea Beard of Ocean City, and Janine Bernard, Midge King, and Kelly Stiegman of Pasadena; six sons, Stephen J. King Jr. of Point Pleasant Beach, N.J., Mark King, Kevin King and Daniel King of Berlin, Chris King of Bishopville and Tim King of Ocean City; 28 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.

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