During the past five years of this festivity, with the support of clients and guests, King’s has donated $4185 to the ACS simply from the sale of Daffodil bouquets.June King, widow of Forrest King Jr. whose father founded the store in 1921, has been involved with the business in many capacities most of her professional life. She also is the mother of Valerie and Vicki King who today run a substantial part of the company. She speaks of her ordeal candidly and interspersed with anecdotes of her years with the business.“I was absolutely surprised when I was told I had cancer,” she said. “I tend to be a positive person and it never had occurred to me that I had a serious illness. Once I found out and knew I had to face it, I decided to do some research and learn what I could about my condition and the various options available to me. It was during this research that I learned of Dr. Susan Love, a leading authority in her field, straightforward, caring, and author of
The Susan Love Breast Book.”
King asked for a second opinion and then consulted with Love who, at the time was practicing in the Boston area. She chose Love as her surgeon for several reasons, one of which was, “she offered more alternatives than a
“complete mastectomy” and understood the devastation of this disease psychologically and emotionally to women.
Following King’s surgery and during her treatment she was able to go to work at the store regularly. “The only days I couldn’t work were the day I had my treatment and the day after. Otherwise, I was pretty much able to keep to my schedule,” she said.
She recalled that at the time, the store was moving from what is now Shaw’s Plaza to its former location in the Plaza opposite Stop and Shop on 3A. “I was there most of the time, washing the cases, organizing inventory and doing what I always did. I do think I was fortunate because I was otherwise healthy and tend to have a strong stamina.
“People would come in and talk to me about it, especially those facing similar situations in their own lives. Of course, it was a time that people didn’t discuss it openly like they do today.”
When King was first diagnosed she said one of the first inquiries she made was to the American Cancer Society. “They could not have been kinder, more informative or more supportive,” she said. “They sent me materials about my particular condition and resources that I might find helpful. It is a wonderful organization and can help anyone in any situation touched by cancer at any time.”
Now eighteen years later, she serves as an inspiration to many who are newly diagnosed or have been survivors for a far shorter time. She gladly tells the story of how her role at the store has evolved throughout the years.
She worked there before she met her future husband, Forrest King. As a teenager, her evening job was at the Scituate playhouse operated by Bud King, Forrest’s brother. Bud was working feverishly to keep the jewelry store functioning properly while running the playhouse at night. He hoped to keep King Jewelers in order until Forrest came back from serving in the military in Japan. June assisted at the store as well.
Upon Forrest’s return, changes occurred. After marrying the owner in 1955, June played a vital role in the company’s daily operation. “I helped customers, washed counters, dusted, did buying and acted as an inventory coordinator. There was a day that I knew the item number and price of every piece in this store!”
Her daughters Val and Vicki soon grew to be more involved in the business and today they are the principle managers of the store. As the family members currently running the business are all women, they are great supporters of Women’s Charities. Recently they participated in “Womenbuild,” a project for Habitat for Humanity which was a house completed exclusively by women. They also present a unique perspective to customers looking for gifts that will appeal to women. The compassion and community spirit exhibited by their efforts, their extensive knowledge of gems and jewelry and an eye for the unique and sentimental gift indicates the staff at this store offers a distinct shopping experience.
June King continues to perform her duties at the store. When she is not working at the business, she is often occupied with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She is well aware that one of them could represent a future generation of King Jewelers.