With the passing of Earl King last week, it brings up a lot of great memories, his many accomplishments both personally and professionally and a very good life. Earl will forever be remembered as a rice farmer, a volunteer firefighter, fire chief and for his time serving on Gridley City Council and as Mayor being sworn in 50 years ago, in April 1963.
His largest contribution to this town would be not only the city-wide tree-planting program but even more importantly, is the fact that Gridley has their own Municipal Utilities because of this man so that the City has more reliable and affordable power. Earl is the reason Gridley is one of 17 cities (11 at that time) who make up Northern California Power Agency (NCPA), joining in 1968.
Once he gave up local politics and handed over the farming business to his son Bob, Earl enjoyed singing in local hangouts and always had a smile on his face. It was evident how much Earl loved life. He also loved the annual "Goat Party," held at the King Ranch each year. The next party in November will certainly be different without Earl and his big infectious smile as he visited with everyone.
Fellow Former Mayor Jerry Fichter remarked upon Earl's passing, “Mayor King and I shared a common bond in many ways. We were neighbors and friends. Our relationship as Former Mayors was a lot of good times sharing stories. One of my favorite stories was of course the community's opposition when Earl wanted to bring affordable power to the City and where would Gridley be financially today if it had not been for his dedication to the project. I will miss the times we had fun saying 'Good Morning Mayor' to each other.”
He had many friends and knowing what a good friend he was to my Dad, his friends and their families loved him. He was a bright and shining star and Gridley is certainly lucky that his family settled here in the mid 1800's. Here's to you Earl. We're going to miss you.