Sports complex now bears name of long-time director

Published 5:00 am Monday, August 26, 2002

Rain couldn’t deter a crowd of more than 100 who helped paytribute to the late Hansel King in a special ceremony Fridaynight.

The sports complex on Belt Line Road was dedicated as the HanselKing Sportsplex to honor King for his decades of service to theBrookhaven Recreation Department. King died earlier this year.

“You can look around here and see what all he did,” said TerryReid, the new director of the recreation department. “I call him myfriend and also he was my boss.”

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After a slight rain delay, the ceremony began with a welcomefollowed by a prayer from the Rev. Lee Allred, who knew Kingwell.

“Hansel would have it no other way than for it to rain today,”said Allred. “Every time we had a softball tournament, itrained.”

The Brookhaven High School Junior ROTC presented the colors withthe national anthem sung by the BHS Choir.

A crowd of friends, family and former recreation departmentboard members gathered around the center of the sportsplex to hearMayor W.W. “Bill” Godbold tell how King’s dream of astate-of-the-art sports complex in Lincoln County began severalyears ago.

Godbold told of the time they drove to Meridian to look at asports complex there to get ideas for the complex, which now hasfour softball fields and two soccer fields because of King’s hardwork and dedication.

“He was a doer. He was a good man, and I miss him,” said anemotional Godbold.

Brookhaven Alderman Les Bumgarner, who served many years on therecreation department board with King, read a proclamation by thecity aldermen in honor of King.

Roland Wall, chairman of the park commission, talked about howhard King worked to build over $4 million in parks in theBrookhaven area.

“Hansel in his own way literally put Brookhaven on the map,”said Wall.

King’s daughter, Louann, told the crowd how much the BrookhavenRecreation Department meant to her father during his 36-year careeras director.

“It not only was his job, it became our family’s lifestyle,” shesaid, recalling helping her father numerous times with histremendous responsibilities.

She thanked everyone for coming to honor her father, and fordedicating the complex to him.

She and her mother, Mary Lou King, joined to cut the ribbon atthe close of the ceremony near a plaque on the wall at the centerof the four softball fields.