Marcel King, beloved local leader of library efforts, to be honored next week

The late Marcel King, a long-time Peninsula resident and an active supporter of Pacific County libraries, served as a dedicated charter member of the Timberland Regional Library Board of Trustees. Her memory will be honored next week.

Helped start Timberland Library system

OCEAN PARK - The Timberland Regional Library (TRL) Board of Trustees and Timberland officials and staff will honor the memory and contributions of the late Marcel King of Ocean Park at a public dedication of a memorial plaque at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 27, at the Ocean Park Timberland Library. Mrs. King's son, Doug King, now living in California, will attend.

Marcel King was a long-time resident of Peninsula and an active supporter of Pacific County libraries. Serving as a dedicated charter member of the TRL Board of Trustees from December 1968 to December 1972, she helped shape the five-county Timberland library district from its beginning.

Board meetings have always been held in various Timberland communities throughout Pacific, Thurston, Grays Harbor, Mason and Lewis counties. King attended the meetings regardless of the distance from home.

Program for Marcel King Memorial DedicationSpeakers will offer brief remarks:

• Mike Wessells, Regional Library Manager for the coastal region of Grays Harbor and Pacific County

• Tina Roose, Interim TRL Director

Dedication:

• Pat Shults, TRL Board of Trustees member for Pacific County, who will invite Marcel King's son, Doug King, to help her unveil the plaque.

• Mr. King will say a few words on behalf of the King family.

Refreshments, courtesy of the Friends of the Ilwaco and Ocean Park Timberland Libraries.

"We used to attend meetings in Olympia and I wouldn't get home until 2 a.m.," she recalled during a 1995 interview with writer Birdie Etchison for the Chinook Observer. She appreciated the support of her husband, the late A. Douglas King, who would often accompany her. Mr. King was an enthusiastic library patron who read all Northwest history the library could get, recalled the King's son, Doug.

King contributed generous funding as well as time and energy in support of the library's mission to advance intellectual curiosity and promote lifelong learning. She contributed $10,000 in 1999 toward a future expansion of Ocean Park's busy library. Her son has continued the family's legacy. In 2000, he gifted a generous portion of the land adjacent to the library that will be needed for expansion.

King's support of libraries was linked with her dedication to education. "Mother was passionate about children learning," wrote Doug King to current Ocean Park Community Librarian, Iver Matheson. King related that his mother taught school after graduation from the University of Oregon and was for many decades a volunteer at the Ocean Park School.

Mrs. King regularly sought the opinions of Pacific County residents and library staff for the betterment of library service, and in turn, friends and neighbors sought King's company for her fascinating conversation and her natural narrative abilities. In 1999, the Sea Resources Watershed Learning Center published "Memories of our Past," in which students preserved conversations with King as well as other longtime Peninsula residents.

The TRL Board of Trustees expressed its appreciation for King's contributions to Timberland libraries and sorrow for her loss on Nov. 13, 1999 in an official resolution adopted on Nov. 17. At the dedication of the memorial plaque at the Ocean Park Timberland Library, the public has an opportunity to share in honoring Marcel King.

The public is encouraged to attend the TRL Board of Trustees regular meeting being held after the dedication. The Ocean Park Timberland Library is located at 1308 256th Place, Ocean Park. For more information, people may call the library at (360) 665-4184.

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