A love story more than 7 decades strong
Editor’s note: This is a reprint of a story about the late Harold King and his wife that the News & Press published in 2018. It was written by Melissa Rollins, then editor of the newspaper.
(See Harold King’s full obituary on our Obituaries page).
At 93, Harold King has done a lot. Recently though, his biggest milestone was reaching his 71st wedding anniversary with wife, Sara Elizabeth, affectionately called Libba.
On Aug. 2, 1947, the two wed at Darlington Presbyterian Church. They had a reception at the Country Club. Both were held in the evening because there was no air conditioning in the buildings.
Rev. Rhoads conducted the ceremony and even all these years later, King wants everyone to know that “he was a great man, a man of the Gospel.”
That Gospel is near and dear to King, who says his advice for life is to “live clean and fight sin.”
Asked how he and his wife have kept their marriage going so long, King said it’s because they made the decision to keep God and family first before anything else.
“We are blessed,” King said. “It was through spiritual guidance and a love of family that we’ve stayed together.”
King was born in the Bethel Community in Hartsville, graduating from Hartsville High School before joining the Marine Corps. He served from 1943-46 and saw time in Okinawa, Japan, before returning to Darlington County.
He worked for a time at a grocery store in Darlington, which is where he met Sidney Belk, and later his sister Sara.
She was born in Oswego but moved to Darlington, attending and graduating from St. John’s High School in 1943. She attended Winthrop University, graduating in May 1947, just a few months before marrying Harold.
“My wife was a very unassuming girl,” King said. “She was always very sensitive to the needs of others.”
Lisa Fagan, one of the King’s two daughters, said that her parents have always been involved in the community.
“Mama was always known for baking biscuits and playing bridge,” Fagan said. “She loved to play bridge; she probably played three nights a week.”
In recent years, the Kings have become residents of the Presbyterian Community in Florence.
Both of the Kings could be found doing their favorite thing, playing bridge, and tending the yard up until right before they made the transition.
“Mama was playing bridge right up until she moved,” Fagan said. “Daddy was always proud of his yard and he was cutting the yard up until he came to the Presbyterian Community.”
“I always said that anything worth having was worth taking care of,” King said.
The Kings have two daughters, Lisa and Debbie. Debbie lives in Spartanburg with husband Linwood. They have two children, Elizabeth and Jane Marie.
Lisa is married and lives in Hartsville with her husband Steve. They have one daughter, SaraAnn.