A survivor of the Great Depression who left school to help her struggling family, Dolores King of East Hampton died on Dec. 11 at Southampton Hospital after a long illness. She was 84.
The lifelong South Fork resident was born on Division Street in Sag Harbor on Sept. 19, 1927, to Ezekiel Luis Rangel and the former Helen Lee. Mrs. King was one of five children, and attended schools in Bridgehampton and Southampton, but had to leave to seek employment to help support her family. She worked at Southampton Hospital in the dietary department, as well as in the private sector, and often walked long distances to and from work, no matter the weather.
After marrying Arnold King of East Hampton in 1949, Mrs. King settled in Springs and raised three sons, Ronald B. King of East Hampton, and Kevin C. King and Ricky A. King, both of Springs, all of whom survive.
In 1963, her husband had a stroke, which left him completely paralyzed. For the next 12 years, until Mr. King’s death in 1975, Mrs. King took on the role of mother, father, and nurse, according to her family.
Stricken with health problems of her own, Mrs. King survived a heart attack in 2001 and cancer in 2003, later becoming homebound.
She is survived by a sister, Theresa Lester of Amagansett, and a brother, Carlos Rangel of Hampton Bays. Two other sisters, Lorraine Lester and Marie Vangroski, died before her. She is also survived by a grandson, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Mrs. King’s son, Kevin, said, “Her life was not an easy one, but she overcame the many obstacles and setbacks. She was a tower of strength for her family, the best mother anyone could have asked for.”
Mrs. King was cremated, and her ashes were buried in a private ceremony at Green River Cemetery in Springs. Her family has suggested donations to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22718, Oklahoma City, Okla., 73123-1718, or East End Hospice, P.O. Box 1048, Westhampton Beach 11978.