Family Login:

Alfred Ashbrook King

Share This Obituary
Resources

Send Flowers
 On-Line Flower Shop


Memories & Candles

“Dear Mrs. King, To know Mr. King was one of life's rare opportunities. He was a gentleman in every sense of the word and will be missed by Austin...Read More »
1 of 14 | Posted by: Marcia and Sam Houston - Austin, TX

“Dear Ellen and Pierpont, I was saddened when I read about Alfred's passing in San Antonio's Express-News on April 2nd. His legacy is tremendous...Read More »
2 of 14 | Posted by: Mari Pagenstecher Rabinowitz - TX

“On behalf of the volunteers of the Olivet Helping Hands Center we offer our condolences to the King family. May God continue to bless you and give...Read More »
3 of 14 | Posted by: Johnnie Ware-Barnes - TX

“I will miss our short conversations. It is easy to understand why Julia enjoyed and respected Mr. King with such high reverence. My best memory: Mr...Read More »
4 of 14 | Posted by: Kenneth R. Rector - Austin, TX

“BRAVO! ”
5 of 14 | Posted by: James Maxwell - Austin, TX

“We've lost a truly remarkable man. He will be sorely missed. Heartfelt condolences to Ellen and the family. Marion DeFord ”
6 of 14 | Posted by: Marion Wier DeFord - austin, TX

“On behalf of my family and the extended Canales family of Premont, please accept our sincerest condolences. Another South Texas legend fades into...Read More »
7 of 14 | Posted by: Josefa Canales Tijerina Castellano - TX

“He truly was a wonderful asset for the community and will be much missed. ”
8 of 14 | Posted by: Fred and Marilyn Addy - austin, TX

“Deepest sympathy to Ellen and family from an old friend and Phi Gam brother. ”
9 of 14 | Posted by: Bob Harless - Gonzales, TX

“Alfred will be missed by countless numbers of people. All of you are in our prayers. Sincerely, The Rev. Rhoda and Rob Montgomery ”
10 of 14 | Posted by: Rhoda Montgomery - Austin, TX

“Thank you for all you have done for this wonderful community and the arts in Austin. We extend our deepest sympathy to Ellen and all the family. ”
11 of 14 | Posted by: Loren & Betty Kahle - austin, TX

“A Texas giant who will be deeply missed by us all. ”
12 of 14 | Posted by: Amelia Bullock - Austin, TX

“Alfred was a rare person I was privledged to know. His integrity serves as a role model for all to follow. He will truly be missed. My thoughts...Read More »
13 of 14 | Posted by: Mary E. Evins - Austin, TX

“Dearest Ellen and Family, I was deeply saddened to hear of Alfred's passing. He has touched so many lives and he will forever live on in the lives...Read More »
14 of 14 | Posted by: Kelly Arldt Sexton - Austin, TX


ALFRED ASHBROOK KING was born in Corpus Christi, TX, July 19, 1916. His father, Richard King, was a rancher, a banker, and a civic leader; his mother, Pierpont King, was also a community leader and a dedicated arts patron; his great-grandfather was Captain Richard King, founder of the famous King Ranch. Alfred graduated from Corpus Christi High School and from Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. Upon graduation from Exeter he entered the University of Texas in Austin. At the University he was a member and president of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, a member of The Cowboys, of Beta Gamma Sigma, business school honor fraternity, and editor of the college yearbook, the 1940 Cactus; with western author J. Frank Dobie as advisor. In 1941 he received two degrees from the University: Doctor of Jurisprudence and Bachelor of Business Administration . Alfred met Ellen Umphres at the University, and he and Ellen were married in 1940. They lived in Austin while Alfred finished law school. After graduation, they moved to Corpus Christi, where he looked after business interests of R. King and Company. A fine horseman, he worked as a cowboy at the family’s South Texas ranch—the Santa Fe. He began military service in 1943 and was soon chosen for the Counterintelligence Corps, a forerunner of the CIA. During his military career, he was attached to the infantry, the Quartermaster Corps, the Air Transport Command, and the Air Force. He served tours in the Caribbean and in India before leaving the Air Force after WWII. Planning to spend more time on the ranch, Alfred and family moved to McAllen, Texas in the Rio Grande Valley, though the ranch was in Encino 60 miles away. He managed the ranch for the next 14 years until the Santa Fe Ranch was sold. While in the Valley, Alfred took an active part in the community. He was a director of the Corpus Christi National Bank (now Bank of America) and of the McAllen State Bank, a director of the McAllen Municipal Hospital, a trustee of Pan American College, today a part of the University of Texas System, vestryman of Trinity Episcopal Church, president of the McAllen Library and president of the Rio Grande Valley Boy Scout Council. The Boy Scouts of America honored him with the Silver Beaver award. During these years, the King family began spending time in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where they have had a second home for many years. There Alfred took a part in the community and was active at the beginning of the Santa Fe Opera. No longer ranching, Alfred and family moved to Austin in 1960. Alfred had become a private investor, and there were many advantages to living in Austin, including the love of Austin itself. His business activities show a wide range of interests. He was chairman of the board or a director of several Muzak franchises, including El Paso, McAllen, Mexico City, Monterrey, Saltillo, Acapulco, and Guadalajara; Director of Inns de Mexico S.A.; Chairman of the board of Management Services Consultants; Chairman of the board of Santa Fe Associates, distributors of Seimans communications testing equipment; ITL Research Corp., military electronic counter-measures company, Director of a plastic container company; Chairman and co-founder of MRI Systems Corp., a computer data management system sold to INTEL in the 1970’s; director of Steve Falkenberg and Company, Inc., public relations and marketing firm. In addition to advising or investing in numerous other businesses, Alfred also spent a great deal of time generously counseling non-profit organizations. In Austin, Alfred’s outstanding talent for leadership and his vision played a large role in the community, especially in the arts and in the field of healthcare. He was founding Chairman of the Austin Lyric Opera, which he helped to organize and continued to serve the Board as Chairman Emeritus. The opera gave him the signal honor of dedicating the Austin premier performance of La Boheme to him during its 5th season. Alfred has been on the Board of Trustees of Laguna Gloria Art Museum, now the Austin Museum of Art, for over 40 years. It was his vision and determination that Austin should have a downtown art museum accessible to a wide audience. He was Founding Chairman and Chairman Emeritus for that museum. He served on the Comprehensive Austin Arts task force. He is a member of The Knights of the Symphony, which chose him as King Brio XII. He was a Founding member of Austin Meals on Wheels; he is a member of St. David’s Healthcare System and past Chairman; a Trustee and President and a member of the Board of Governors of St. David’s Partnership; President of St. David’s Health Care Foundation and member of the Board of Trustees; a member of Indian Arts and Crafts Association board of directors, a former trustee of the Orme School in Mayer, AZ, and President of the Orme Visiting Advisory Committee; he was a member of the Advisory Board for The School of Humanities at St. Edwards University. For the University of Texas in Austin, Alfred has been member and Chairman of the Advisory Council of The College of Fine Arts and a member Emeritus of the advisory Council of the School of Natural Sciences. He and his wife established lectureships in the College of Fine Arts and The School of Natural Sciences. He was a member of the Chancellor’s Council, the President’s Associates, and the Littlefield Society and a Life Member of the Ex-Students Association. Alfred received many awards in recognition of his dedication and leadership. Among them are Outstanding Philanthropist from the Austin chapter of the National Society of Fund Raising Executives, The Clara Driscoll Award given by Laguna Gloria Art Museum, GACC Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce for leadership in the arts, the Jane Dunn Sibley award for Outstanding and Sustained Leadership in the arts of Central Texas, Community Maker Award for outstanding contribution to the visual arts community from Austin Visual Arts Association; Allan Shivers Award for Lifetime Achievement from

continued...