North Texas

UNT Plans Funeral While Searching for Grad Student's Family

The University of North Texas is helping plan burial services for one of its own. Sixty-seven-year-old Margaret Rosa King was a custodian at UNT.

"She was probably one of the only staff members in quite a while that was so excited, big smile on her face, that she had a full-time job," recalled David Barkenhagen, who was King's boss at UNT.

King worked overnight, from 12:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., cleaning the campus P.E. Building. She collapsed on campus September 14, 2017 and died.

King was more than a janitor. She was a lifelong student and was in the process of getting her seventh degree when she died - a masters in interdisciplinary studies. 

King's managers found out more about their employee after her death, as they tried to find a next of kin. 

"In this case, she did not list next of kin," said David Reynolds, UNT Associate Vice President of Facilities. "I don't know if she would appreciate all of the publicity. Her name is out there now, but it seems fitting to have some closure for her and not just be forgotten."

UNT is hoping someone will recognize King and her accomplishments, and put them in touch with family in time for the funeral service the school is helping to plan. "It just goes to show, UNT is a big family," said Barkenhagen.

King was an Air Force veteran. She'll be interred with full military honors at the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery on May 16 at 11:30 a.m.

Contact Us