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Monongahela man loves helping people

| Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, 12:02 a.m.
Ken King, in background, is pictured with his family, from left, son Cody, grandmother, Myrtle Bradshaw, and wife, Beth.

When Ken King took his first job at Arcadia Gardens in South Park, he did so because he loved working with people.

But little did he know that he'd meet one person who would change his life – his future wife, Beth.

A Monongahela native, King started working for Arcadia Gardens right out of high school. He was the head of the garden center.

“I love working with people and enjoyed working with the plants,” King said.

It was there that the Kings met. She was attending culinary school at the time.

The couple has been married 19 years. They have a son, Codie, 16, a sophomore at Ringgold High School.

King worked at Arcadia Gardens for nearly five years before it closed.

He then worked for the Monongahela McDonalds for nearly a year in maintenance and front counter sales before moving to the Eat ‘N Park in the city. He was training to go into management training when his lung collapsed.

He had surgery to remove a portion of his one lung. King has been on disability since 2000 after doctors determined that pneumothorax of the lung precluded him from putting too much stress on the organ.

“Basically, I take care of my son and help my wife,” King said. “And, I've taken care of my grandmother, Myrtle.”

Myrtle Bradshaw worked at Eat ‘N Park for 40 years.

For awhile, Bradshaw along with Ken and Beth King all worked at the Monongahela restaurant.

“We actually worked different shifts because we wanted someone to be with my son,” King said. “We didn't want him to be under a babysitter's care. My wife worked mornings, I would do the midnight shift and my grandmother worked 5 to 11 p.m.”

King said he enjoyed working with people.

“I love helping people,” King said. “I still do today. If a neighbor needs a hand, I do so as long as I can handle it.

“I always try to be as polite to people as I can.”

His health concerns do provide some limitations.

“I can't really walk a lot,” King said. “The main thing that bothers me is the heat. When it gets too hot, I have to use my oxygen.

“When it gets too humid, I have to stay in.”

The cold weather actually helps him breathe easier, King said.

King said he used to enjoy hunting, but it's hard for him to do so now.

“My main enjoyment is going on Facebook and keeping up with my friends,” King said. “I like to do models and play video games with my son. It gives me a lot of father-son time.”

King said the most memorable event in his life was witnessing the birth of his son at West Penn Hospital in March 1996.

“He was three months premature,” King said. “He was just 3 pounds, 4 ounces. He was so small that he fit in palm of my hand.”

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or cbuckley@tribweb.com.

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