Obituary of Cindy King

Cindy King born January 6, l946 passed away peacefully in her sleep with her husband and 15 yr. old Labrador by her side on Friday morning, January 18, 2019, in Bellingham at age 73. Her long battle with cancer had finally come to an end and her prayerful wish to pass quietly in her sleep was granted. The Hand of God gently guided Cindy out of the pain and into the comfort of eternal peace and happiness. She will have a lot of catching up to do with all her old dogs, cats, and horses at Rainbow Bridge.

Cindy was born in Portland, OR to Irma Kathleen Martin and Joseph Jerone King (both who preceded her death). She was raised in Bremerton and Hood Canal area with her loving parents and older twin sisters, Nikki King of Tumwater, WA and Sally Thompson, of Lake Havasu, AZ. Much of her youth was spent swimming and water skiing on Hood Canal. She coached children’s softball for one summer and has always enjoyed Mariner's baseball. Her greatest joy was her horse "Rocky" whom she spent every spare minute riding all over Kitsap county and entering many local riding events. She was an accomplished rider and became an Ellensburg Rodeo Princess in l963 which was a huge honor and thrill to be a part of. Cindy graduated from West High School Bremerton in 1964 with high honors. She went on to graduate University of Washington with a liberal arts degree in 1968. She enjoyed several years with Gamma Phi Beta Sorority and the U of W has always held a special place in her heart. Her degree was in dramatic arts and she played a number of roles in University productions, children’s theatre, and ACT in Seattle. Her greatest achievement was to attend the famous Neighborhood Playhouse of the Theatre in New York City where she studied under Sanford Meisner, one of the most revered drama coaches of the time.  Cindy soon returned to the NW and in 1972 she received her teaching certificate after additional studies and student teaching. In 1975 Cindy started working for Skagit Valley College and was one of the first employees to be trained on computers (personal computers were not even on the market) so a major learning curve for the liberal arts graduate. That experience lasted 12 years. She was living with her husband on small hobby farms in Lyman and later Bellingham. In 1987, she started working for Whatcom Community College in admissions and graduation where she remained working full time until she retired in July of 2016. Cindy loved her connection with college students and worked especially hard to make them feel comfortable and accepted through the sometimes difficult first initiation into college admission. Students reacted so positively to her warm, exuberant personality while understanding they were dealing with a very experienced and knowledgeable person. Cindy was able to witness firsthand the long and continued expansion of Whatcom Community College from its roots with satellite offices to the campus it has become today.

Cindy’s marriage to Rick Mullen in 1976 proved to be a wonderful and loving relationship for over 42 years. They shared everything together with many common interests, most of all the love of animals. Early on they enjoyed many great back country trail rides in the Cascades with Rick’s sister and brother in law. She loved vegetable gardening, collecting the fresh eggs, and putting all that sweat equity in to their old farms. While her first love was horses, attention soon turned specifically to Labrador Retriever dogs. Cindy's mother and both her sisters showed and trained dogs, so it was obviously in her DNA. Cindy was an excellent trainer/handler and showed her own dogs in conformation dog shows, obedience trials, agility trials, and specialty shows around the country. She put several championship, obedience, and agility titles on many of her dogs. She and her husband enjoyed 30 years of traveling to dog events and having wonderful relationships with so many people with a common interest, the love of dogs. While she travelled much of the western US, Canada, and Hawaii her roots were planted in the NW with moss growing in her hair and web feet. She could never tolerate the high heat. The greatest joy during her illness was to walk their parked-out 11 acres with salmon creek, ponds, wetlands, and an abundance of wildlife to spot.  Reportedly Bald Eagles would sit on their bridge and beaver would patrol the creek flapping their tails when they spotted Cindy lurking along the banks.  It was truly a spiritual experience for her every day. She also very much enjoyed continuing to develop a lush and creative landscape at their home in the Ferndale area.

Rick explains that it’s difficult to put into words the effect Cindy's personality had on people; she was always smiling, sharp as a tack, witty, often opinionated, and could tell a story of an experience with so much humor and enthusiasm. Rick says it’s obvious she picked this up from her “Pop” who was so much like her, albeit he added a little more mischief. Always fun to be around and people loved her right from the start. She kept that humor, smile, and twinkle in her eye up until it was time to go. Just days before she passed, she asked her husband, "What do you think you'll do after I'm gone that you couldn't do when we were married"?  Rick really hadn't thought about it much but responded "I might get a big motorcycle.”  She replied with smile, "Oh great, I'll be seeing you sooner than I thought.” Rick has said she has left a gaping hole in his heart and in the hearts of those who knew her well. “She was the funniest person I know and her bubbly personality and wit was a joy to be around for all those years.”

Cindy is survived by her husband Rick Mullen, two older sisters Nikki King, Sally and husband John Thompson along with nephews Jeff Thompson of Ridgecrest, CA., Tim Thompson of Poulsbo, WA, nieces Stephanie Nichols from Vancouver WA., Kelley Gill from Anchorage, AK., and Kit and Bill Maris, sister in law and brother in law of Anacortes, WA.

A celebration of life will be held at Moles Farewell Tributes Greenacres (5700 NW Dr. Ferndale, WA 98248) at 1:00pm on Saturday, February 23rd, 2019.

In lieu of flowers please send donations to the below institutions or to a charity of your choice. Peace Health Cancer Center, Bellingham, The American Cancer Society, or Brigadoon Service Dog, Inc. (4759 Mission Street Bellingham, WA 98226).