It is with great sadness that Dredge Central, LLC of Goodlettsville Tennessee learned of the November 19, 2018 passing of our founder and dredging legend, Don King.
Don graduated from Hillsboro High School in Nashville Tennessee USA, attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville Tennessee, and served in the US Navy in WWII. In his earlier years Don delivered telegrams by bicycle for Western Union, was a bellboy at the historic Hermitage Hotel in Nashville, sold cars, started the first rolling restaurant in Nashville, and eventually entered the construction business which led to a more than 50 year career in the international dredge manufacturing industry.
Don King had a long, lively and storied career in the dredging industry beginning with American Machinery Corporation (AMMCO), continuing with Dixie Dredge, Dredge Masters International (DMI), Dredge and Marine Corporation (DMC), King Dredge and retiring in 2016 from the last dredging company he founded, Dredge Central, LLC. Don’s contacts and world travels read like a National Geographic article with his passport books documenting travel to countries no longer bearing the names stamped in the pages.
Don loved to detail some of his world travels to listening ears with one of his stories involving a trip to Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) in the 1970’s during the leadup to the boxing fight between heavyweight George Foreman against challenger Muhammad Ali – “The Rumble in the Jungle”. Don had called ahead to a hotel to reserve a room and upon arrival, he was presented the best suite in the building which puzzled him until he learned that Ali’s manager, bearing the same name, had been expected to visit in preparation for the upcoming fight. He didn’t explain the name challenge or pass on the room assignment, enjoyed the stay with amenities, and closed the dredge sale.
The dredging career Don loved so much involved projects from road building and dam levee construction as a contractor, domestic and international sales of new dredges with several dredge manufacturers, ownership of dredge building companies, development of a surplus market site known as the “Dredge & Pit Trader” from a paper mailer to what it is today – an international internet market site allowing equipment owners an avenue to buy and sell surplus dredge related equipment – www.DredgeandPitTrader.com , and founding Dredge Central LLC, a company based on remanufacturing dredging equipment to provide buyers excellent used equipment priced well below the prices of new OEM dredges. Don was an innovator, an active entrepreneur, and at the age of 91, was still looking for great opportunities in dredging and other endeavors.
In lieu of flowers, the family has suggested memorial donations can be made in Don’s honor to St Jude Children’s Hospital. A Celebration of Life is tentatively planned by the family for mid-June 2019.
The staff at Dredge Central will miss Don and his enthusiasm for our dredging industry!