Kings River Packing founder Doug Hazelton was 86
Douglas (Doug) Edward Hazelton, founder of Kings River Packing, died surrounded by family May 20. He was 86.
Mr. Hazelton was born April 27, 1937 in Sanger, CA. A fifth-generation citrus farmer, he grew up working on his family's farm while attending Sanger High School.
After completing school, Mr. Hazelton married the love of his life, Norma Cooper. The pair enjoyed 68 years of marriage. While raising a family, he continued to work the family farms while also starting his own citrus spraying business and farming land on the west side of the valley for two years with his lifelong friend Mike Dresick.
Having learned many life lessons from the generations before him, he placed great importance on leading his family well and leaving a lasting impact for the next generation. While Mr. Hazelton was the director of Orange Cove Sanger Citrus, in 1977 he founded Kings River Packing. With the help of his wife and children, he continued the Hazelton legacy in the citrus industry that was started by William (Yank) Hazelton who also planted the first citrus trees in Fresno County.
In 2018 Mr. Hazelton and Norma were named Farmer of the Year by the city of Sanger, an honor that recognized their impact on the community.
While his accomplishments are many, Mr. Hazelton's favorite bible verse was "The joy of the Lord is my strength" Nehemiah 8:10. Religion was very important in his life, and one of the biggest joys was family.
Mr. Hazelton loved spending time with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren — from trips together in Cayucos, Huntington and Shaver Lakes, to fishing on the Rogue River in Oregon, spending time with his family in the outdoors, making memories was his favorite thing to do.
Mr. Hazelton was preceded in death by his parents, Ed and Millie Hazelton. He is survived by his wife, Norma; daughters Cheryl (Tim) Daniel, Dianna (Dave) Hines and Janet (Keith) Gardner; and sister Jean Casey. Additionally, he leaves behind his beloved grandchildren Doug (Jennifer) Daniel, Frank (Britney) Daniel, Nancy (Brad) Bishel, John (Lauren) Gardner, Joanie (Scott) Riddle, Katie (Johnny) Verwey, Bobby (Alison) Hines and 21 great-grandchildren with one more on the way.
Memorial services will be held at Mountain View Church June 1 at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family asked to consider donating in Mr. Hazelton's name to:
- Mountain View Missions, 3600 N. Fowler Ave., Fresno, CA 93727
- Central Valley Teen Challenge, P.O. Box 391, Reedley, CA 93654
- Kings Corner Ministries, 21494 E. Trimmer Springs Road, Sanger, CA 93657