Sunday, December 27, 2009


Edith I. King*

Edith I. King passed away peacefully at home, Sunday December 6. She was 100 years old. She was born in the city of Santa Cruz on July 7, 1909, to Harry W. and Margaret M. King, who had immigrated to Santa Cruz from Toronto, Canada. Her father died when she was 8 years old, and her mother remarried Harry A Baker. They moved to the ranch in Aptos, where she lived for 67 years. In 1986 she moved from the ranch to Rio Del Mar, where she resided until her death.

Edith was an educator who worked in Santa Cruz county schools for 39 years. She graduated from San Jose State in 1932, and began her teaching career in Watsonville. She soon moved to the Santa Cruz city schools where she taught at Grant, was principal at Gault from 1949 until 1966, and finished her career as principal at Laurel, instituting the first Title One program in Santa Cruz county. She retired in 1971.

Edith loved horses and raised Arabians and ponies at the ranch as well as cattle, and had many pet dogs and cats over the years. She enjoyed the outdoors and hunted and fished for most of her life. She loved to travel, and her most recent trip was a cruise through the Panama canal at age 92, which fulfilled a lifetime goal. She was an avid gardener and was known for her beautiful dahlias and roses.

Edith is survived by her loving nephews and nieces, Timothy Matthews and wife Heather, of Capitola, Ann Matthews Atlas and her husband Larry. of Millbrook, New York, Martin Matthews of Honolulu, Hawaii, and grand nephew Julian Matthews of Aptos. She was preceded in death by her sister, Dorothy Baker Matthews. The family also wishes to thank Dolores M. Austria, her loving caregiver for over 6 years.

No services will be held at her request, but the family would welcome any stories or memories be sent to P.O.Box 36, Aptos, CA 95003 or to Memorial donations can made to Hospice of Santa Cruz, 940 Disc Drive, Scotts Valley, CA 95066

IVANO SAYS: Edith King was the principal and teacher (Sixth Grade) when I graduated from Laurel School. She was instrumental in selecting five "Figli della Costa", Jerry Mungai, Jim Ceragioli, Marvin Del Chiaro, Mario Rodoni and me (Ivan Comelli) to serve with the famous "Traffic Boys" of 1948-49 (LNC: P.275). Thanks Miss King. Until we meet again across "Il Ultimo Ponte"

*The above Remembrance was first published in the Santa Cruz Sentinel:


Ivano Franco Comelli said...

Photo of Laurel School 'Traffic Boys' 1948-49: Front Row (l-r): Marvin Del Chiaro, Jim Ceragioli, Dennis Soo Hoo, Jerry Mungai.
Middle Row: (l-r): David McCabe, Ron Daugherty, Damon Knight.
Rear Row (l-r): Ivan Comelli,Mario Rodoni, Louis Costa, Donald (??).

IVANO said...

As I state in my book, Santa Cruz Police Officr Charles Derby who trained and supervisted the "Traffic Boys" was probably the one person who had the greatest influence on me becoming a Police Officer. So in retrospect, if Miss King hadn't selected me who knows what would have happened. (As far as I know, I was the only one in the group that choose Law Enforcement as a career.) ivno

JERRY M. said...

I remembered a Miss King as our principal; but I just assumed she had passed away sometime ago so I was a little puzzled about the email. I thought, "Could this be our principal at Laurel? She was quite a lady. JM

MARVIN DC said...

.... I saw the Sentinel article on Miss King, and also your coverage of it in your blagga; I mentioned to Elaine how great it is that you take the time to keep everyone informed, and what a valuable historical record the blagga has become. You do a fabulous job. I had spoken to her (Miss King) in the parking lot at COSTCO a couple of years ago, and had planned to go visit her (I think we had talked about that), but as a lot of things, good intentions go down the drain. I guess it's true what they say, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions!" I have had some success in contacting people (such as Edith) that had a positive impact on my life over the years, but there's still more to go, and time is passing rapidly.