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Obituary of Lovalerie King, 66


Dedicated Mother, Wife, Sister, Daughter, Friend, and Colleague

With great sadness, the family of Dr. Lovalerie King announces her passing at Hershey Medical Center on Saturday Dec 22, 2018 at age 66, after organ failure stemming from complications presently under investigation. Her death was unexpected and her family is doing their best to cope with this devastating loss. Her husband and daughter were by her side when she died.

Lovalerie was born on September 3, 1952 in Blytheville, Arkansas. Her parents were Johnnie Eva King [Dillard] and Chris King. She had seven siblings; brothers Bobby Joe, Billy, Stevie [Timmy], Chris Jr., Freddy, Charles, and sister, Earnestine Cassandra. She grew up in Blytheville during segregation and at age 17 moved to Lansing, MI, where she lived for much of her adult life.

She was married for several years to Samuel Hughes, a longtime friend with whom she had attended Richard B. Harrison [The Harrisonites] High School, home of ‘The Dragons,’ of Blytheville, Arkansas many years earlier.

In May of 2018, Lovalerie married veteran Allen Wiggins, 71, to whom she was married at the time of her death.

During the course of her very busy life with two children, Lovalerie obtained an Associate’s Degree from Lansing Community College and a Bachelor of English from Michigan State University. She later earned her Master’s Degree at Emory University and her Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

Dr. King eventually taught courses at the University of Massachusetts Boston and later went on to become a tenured professor at Penn State University, where she taught for 13 years until her retirement in 2016. She was also the Director of the Penn State Africana Research Center (ARC) from 2008 to 2016.

Dr. King has published numerous essays, reviews, and articles, has authored and co-authored several books, and has received the pleasure of meeting and hosting prestigious historians and speakers from all over the country and the world.

She liked to travel and to continue the learning process as often as possible. She fervently believed in the power of knowledge and the value of education.

Lovalerie is survived by her husband Allen, her children, Erin [Felicia] and Eric, her sister Earnestine, her brothers Charles and Freddy, her nieces Yvette and A’Lynne and nephews, Fred Jr., Rodney Michael, Anthony James, Willem, and many wonderful cousins. She is also remembered by countless close friends and colleagues that she treasured dearly.

A memorial service for Lovalerie is scheduled for Saturday January 5, 2019 at Koch Funeral Home, 2401 S. Atherton Street in State College, PA 16801. Visitation is from 11:00am until 1:00pm with the service beginning at 1:00pm.

Dr. Keith Gilyard will officiate the memorial service.

In lieu of flowers, donations in the deceased’s name can be made directly to The Hope Lodge at 125 Lucy Avenue, Hummelstown, PA 17036.

Arrangements are under the care of Koch Funeral Home, State College. Online condolences and signing of the guest book may be entered at

Name of Deceased

Lovalerie King



Date of Death


Date of Birth


Funeral Home

Koch Funeral Home

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