Paying It Forward

July 12, 2021

King Kulture – treating others with respect, making a positive difference in the lives of others and a mission of service greater than self – has a life-changing impact. Retired U.S. Air Force contracting officer Dennis Burdine says it has transformed his outlook. After retirement, Burdine got to know founder Jerry King on a more personal level when Burdine and his family visited King’s corporate ranch, El Lobo (The Wolf).

“We were treated like kings and queens,” Burdine says. “I’d never had anyone make me feel that way, and it made me want to be more giving in my own life.” Today, Burdine lives in central Florida and keeps busy volunteering for his 55+ Del Webb community and area Veterans Association. Every day offers him a chance to make a positive difference in the lives of others. And he does.

Givings Ripple Effect

One example involves a friend from church and his wife and three children. The man had an out-of-state job interview to become a mechanic on the giant turbines used to harvest wind energy. His pickup truck wouldn’t make the trip, and he didn’t have the funds for a plane ticket. “What would Jerry do?” came to mind.

“After discussing it with my wife, we made an anonymous gift of a roundtrip plane ticket,” says Burdine. “He got the job and within a month, was moving his family to their new home. They never knew we provided their leg up. I view it as a pay-it-forward example of the impact Jerry has had on my life.”

The family had a Yorkshire terrier puppy they decided not to take with them.

“They gave the pup to us since we already had a Yorkie,” says Burdine. “She has been and still is my best pal. Isn’t Karma great?”

Making Every Day Count

Burdine continues to find ways that he can act upon the life lessons he says he learned from Jerry King.

“Jerry will never know the transformative effect he has had on my life – and by extension – on others. I love the man. He’s my role model.”

Pictured: Dennis Burdine took his wife and 10-year-old daughter to the El Lobo ranch years ago. The Kings’ hospitality – including Barbara King’s homemade ice cream – made quite the impression.