June 25, 2021
God rest the Queen. Leila Luening King 1/25/29-6/25/21 (Lelo, Lee) was a woman with incredible beauty, strength, and talents to share, gifted in the arts (writing, music—jazz!, drama, design), and a fierce advocate for people with disabilities, an avid reader, and a loyal, witty, caring friend. Yet her deepest passion was for motherhood. Lelo was beloved by everyone in her life, in the most meaningful authentic sense. She had numerous lifelong friendships because time spent with Lelo was always incredibly meaningful and valuable...and fun! She could easily have been a counselor but was too busy helping people in her daily life to go the formal route. Born in Louisville, KY, Leila spent happy young years with her sister and parents until the sudden passing of her father. Her brave mother, pregnant with her baby brother, moved the family to Washington DC to live with family. “Lee” grew up there, graduating from Woodrow Wilson HS, class of ‘47. She and her sorority sisters had a blast together! She had a short stint at American University, but her heart was in working and looking forward to getting married and starting her own family. She enjoyed her time at the General Accounting Dept. for the US Comptroller’s office and also at the Navy Department. During this time she met her husband to be, John, at a picnic in Rock Creek Park. They were married in 1950 and the union lasted for 66 years, until Dad passed. They raised their family in Cranbury, NJ. The birth of Lelo’s precious third child, Dave, ignited her passion for advocating for the strengths and rights of the disabled after Dave was diagnosed with cognitive impairment. Lee’s next life chapters included work with organizations committed to supporting the underserved community of the mentally and physically challenged. She developed deep friendships at the AAMH (Princeton) and Jersey Cape Diagnostic Training & Opportunity Center (after she and John moved to Cape May County). Her connections led her to the perfect placement for her Dave at the Arc of Cape May County, where she became closely involved. Throughout her life, Lelo was so adventurous! A prime example of this was her trip in her 70s with her elderly aunt to Scotland. Lelo rented a manual transmission car and the two drove on the “wrong” side of the road throughout the country. Lelo’s final years were spent living with her daughter, Jen and son-in-law, Michael. They were joyful years, with her little dog, Boopie delighting her daily, trips to the beach, and dinners out. Happy family gatherings brought great new memories. Lelo’s zest for life was unstoppable! We are forever grateful to the helpers from Holy Redeemer and AtlantiCare and AtlantiCare Hospice in Lelo’s final months who became like family. She passed surrounded by her loving family. Leila was predeceased by her husband, John Lindsay King, Jr.; her parents, John Hans Luening and Ethel Mae Combs Luening; her sister, Margaret Luening Valentine; her brother, John David Luening; and best friend, Robin. She is survived by her children, Jennifer King Maggio (Michael), Thomas William King (Karen), and David Lindsay King; her grandchildren, Ian Thomas Pullman (Maria), Emily King Rodriguez (Johan), Colin Timothy King, J. Daniel Maggio (Nicoletta), Keith Michael Maggio (Maureen), and Thomas A. Evans; her great-grandchildren, Thomas, Samuel and Daniel aka The Nunz; her nieces and nephews, Meg Purcell Longley (Steve), John C. Purcell (Elaine), J. Randolph Luening, and Kitty Luening Colbert (John); her sisters-in-law, Emily King O’Hara and Doris Asbury Luening; and countless other family and friends too numerous to mention. Lelo’s grandchildren describe her as “The strongest example of loving kindness, gratitude and appreciation”(-Ian), “an absolute POWERHOUSE of feminine grace” (-Emily), “a color, pouring love, wisdom, and kindness over everything “ (-Colin), “the Queen in our family, her brilliance, undeniable wisdom, ways of encouraging…” (Tommy). And Michael sums it all up perfectly, as said to her recently: “Your attitude always turns to joy.” A private Life Celebration will be planned later. Please honor Lelo with donations to the Arc of Cape May County, in lieu of flowers: The Arc of Cape May County P.O. Box 255 822 Route 47 South Dennis, NJ 08245
God rest the Queen. Leila Luening King 1/25/29-6/25/21 (Lelo, Lee) was a woman with incredible beauty, strength, and talents to share, gifted in the arts (writing, music—jazz!, drama, design), and a fierce advocate for people with disabilities,... View Obituary & Service Information
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God rest the Queen.
Leila Luening King 1/25/29-6/25/21 (Lelo,...
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