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King's Story


King William Shaffer Jr. was born December 7th,1966.

Since King’s birth his life energy was strong, courageous and curious. He was a triple threat with his good looks, charm and intelligence. As a young teenager King knew how to take a complex car engine apart and put it back together with ease.  He always kept his hands and mind busy. He joined the Navy when he turned 19 and the following year completed BUDS and Hell Week as part of the Navy SEAL training. It was after King left the Navy his life had taken a turn. King fractured his back on a jet ski while vacationing at the age of 30 and was given Percocets for his excruciating pain. This was the beginning of King’s journey with addiction. He began working in business with computers, and also working as a builder. His genius  IQ and his Attention Deficit Disorder helped him attempt it all.


King met the mother of his children at the age of 30 and they had two beautiful children Amanda and Noah. King’s family began to recognize that he had an issue with Percocet and Oxycontin and he needed treatment.  So through the following years, they had interventions. He went to detox, rehab, IOPs, and Salvation Armies. He tried Methadone, Suboxone and alternative therapies on and off for 15 plus years.  He was homeless at times. He attempted to live in many sober homes. He lived on and off with his mother, father, and with each of his two sisters. In the past year of his life he was in 18 places including hospitals.

King went through all this while he kept in good communication with his children, attended family gatherings, cooked in his families kitchens, gave his nephews and niece life advice, attended their sporting events, laughed his unique laugh with his friends, followed politics, was kind and gentle with all animals and told the ones he loved in so many ways how much he loved them all.  He even had the word OHANA tattooed on his arm, which means “family”. The addiction was never put to an arrest for any period of time. Addiction continued to consume King and he couldn’t keep up with the price of the pills so switched to using heroin in 2004.

Although King wasn’t fully functioning as a “normal” person, he did his own construction jobs when he could and raised his children up until his daughter Amanda was 15 and his son Noah was 12. He was a doting, involved father to his children. He possessed maternal instincts and would insist on a hot breakfast for them, have meaningful talks with his children, make sure his daughter’s dress hems were proper length and gave Noah sound wrestling advice. King also was a loving and close son to both his mother and father, two step parents and two sisters. The three siblings had a bond stronger than most. It was stronger than steel.

King had never fully surrendered to the 12 steps of NA, instead he always marched to his own beat and walked his own path. He was strong for many years to handle that burden of walking on his lonely path with addiction. It was this last year that he was using up to 30 bags of heroin a day.

He withdrew and his overall health and energy were that of someone giving up and succumbing.  He attended Calvary Church in Northeast Philadelphia to praise God. He truly enjoyed the service. It was there he met a kind Pastor that would help place him into yet another rehab for yet another chance for long term recovery.

King was scheduled to fly to rehab by November 2, 2016. Instead, On October 29th King made the last decision he ever had a chance to make in his life and that was to buy three bags of heroin. He never made it past the first bag. King slipped away from all who loved him on October 29th, 2016 from a heroin/fentanyl overdose from a battle that not even a Navy SEAL could win.

His OHANA is changed forever.
His pain is over. Our new journey, King’s Crusade, has begun. May our son, brother, father and friend rest in eternal peace.

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