Rhea's Story

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Our mother, Rhea Sue King, died peacefully on January 31, 2017 at the Richland Beanblossom Health Care Center in Bloomington, Indiana.

Mom was born on February 11, 1937. She and her 3 sisters were raised on the family farm near New Salem, Indiana. After graduating from New Salem High School in 1955 she matriculated to Purdue University. At Purdue Mom met and married Jerry Kane and over the next 3 years had 3 of her 5 children. After their divorce she returned to Rush County with her kids...Mike, Tom, and Beth then ages 3, 2, and 1, and began working at the Durbin Hotel as a waitress. At the Durbin she met David Gaunt, a local businessman who enjoyed occasional evenings playing piano in the bar. They fell in love, married, and over the next 3 years David adopted the three older children and Mom gave birth to two boys, David and Paul.

Our mother appeared inexhaustible. She worked tirelessly over many years refurbishing the nearly 100 year old house we grew up in; sang in the church choir; directed two productions of the Music Study Club; sold Avon products, delivering them on her bicycle; contracted for Pioneer Seed Corn; attended countless tap dance recitals, baseball games, high school theater and Slab Town productions, wrestling matches, track meets, basketball and football games. We will miss her love, easy laugh, and good nature.

Our mother was preceded in death by her parents, William King and Martha (Minor) Owens, her sister Beverly (Gene) Kile, and her daughter, Elizabeth Gaunt. She is survived by two sisters, Sharon (Ray) Rice and Katha Janisch; four sons, Michael (Melanie) Kane, Thomas (Vickie) Gaunt, David Gaunt, and Paul (DeMaris) Gaunt; and her four grandchildren, Garrett and Madeline Kane, Dane Shikman, and Will Gaunt. There will be a private family memorial service for her.
Published on February 13, 2017
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