Tyler community mourns philanthropist Ed King's death

Tyler community mourns philanthropist Ed King's death

The Tyler community is mourning the loss of philanthropist Ed King, who passed away Thursday.

As the owner of two of the popular Chick-Fil-A franchises for more than 30 years, there's no doubt that Ed King was a good businessman. But to the people of Tyler, he was much more.

"He was here to give, he was here to show his support to people that are helping other people," Chantel Millin, community and corporate relations coordinator with the Salvation Army of Tyler, said.

King showed that support time and time again by giving back to non-profit organizations like the Salvation Army, Meals on Wheels and the Children's Miracle Network.

"If someone came and said, 'Ed, we have a need with this group. Can you help?' He would say, 'Absolutely, we can do that.' He loved Tyler," Chick-Fil-A Marketing Director Barbara Carter said.

When CBS19 spoke to King back in 2012, he told us he was inspired to give back by Chick-Fil-A's founder, Truett Cathy.

"I saw what he had done, and over the years it's just permeated my soul and my heart," King said.

"He was someone that truly understood the mission of the Salvation Army -- that being to meet the human need in Jesus' name without discrimination," Millin said.

Because of his love for children, King also sponsored 'Children are a Gift' for many years here on CBS19.

Carter, who worked closely with King, says he lived by one motto...

"We make a living by what we earn, we make a life by what we give. And I think he was a great example of that," she said. "He would tell you if he were here today that life was good."

"He'll be missed, dearly missed," Millin said.

It's unclear what lead to King's death, but people close to him tell CBS19 he had been ill for a while.

In a statement Thursday, Majors Ben and Doris Lawrence and The Salvation Army said:

"Former advisory board member, Ed King, truly understood the mission of The Salvation Army -- and supported it in every way. We are eternally grateful for who he was -- and take comfort in knowing that he was promoted to glory...from angel on earth to angel in heaven. Our prayers are with his family and friends at this time."


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