A retired U.S. service woman who earned six academic degrees, including two masters from the University of North Texas, was laid to rest on Wednesday after a months-long search for relatives.
The ceremony for Margaret Rosa King happened eight months after her death because the university, despite efforts, never found any of her family members. Ironically, King's niece unexpectedly made it to the cemetery just as the service was starting.
Cherrie Robinson rushed to Dallas from Atlanta, arriving just in time. Robinson said King, 67, was her aunt and her mother's long lost older sister. On Tuesday she read an article on Facebook.
"Everybody was commenting on it, saying how sad it was, I just happened to click on it to read it. As I went to scroll, I noticed her eyes and immediately I knew. I saw the picture and I saw the name. I had to contact my mother,” Robinson said.
King was a decorated scholar who had two master’s degrees from UNT and was working on a 7th degree while holding a job as a campus janitor when she died of natural causes.
"One thing about Margaret, when she joined the custodian department her main concern was, these buildings have got to look their best for the students. That's why we're here, we've got to take care of the students.
The inability to located any of King’s family touched hundreds of North Texans, who showed up to pay their respects.
"God tugged at my heart and said you need to go,” said Shelby Meza, who never met King. “I told my husband and he said, ‘What time is the service because I'm going too.’ So my husband decided to join me,” Meza said.
Robinson, who was emotional during the service, said their family simply lost touch with King.
"Basically I kinda grew up knowing she existed. I still have a doll she gave me. We just kind of took it she was off in her studies. She really enjoyed learning. We just took it as that,” Robinson said.
Robinson said she and her mother been looking for her aunt for more than 30 years. Robinson’s mother lives in California and flew into Dallas, but arrived after the service took place.