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‘Crazy George,' who was passionate about Marysville, dies
Funeral services are scheduled for 2 p.m. March 14 at Lipp and Sullivan. King will be buried with military honors at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery in Dixon.
Affectionately known around Marysville as "Crazy George," Mederic George King was many things in life.
He was a veteran of the Korean War who battled mental health demons, homelessness and anybody and everybody he believed was harming the city he loved to complain about.
A Michigan native who moved to California in the 1950s by way of Florida, King was a loud, rambunctious gadfly known for yelling at people in front of the post office and downtown businesses.
"I've been a bank teller, a ditch digger, an ambulance driver and a pizza cook," King told the Appeal-Democrat in 2011 after he was hospitalized with a variety of health conditions.
King, 79, died Wednesday night at the Marysville Care and Rehab Center.
"I wasn't surprised," said long-time friend Charlie Dillard. "He'd been in bad health a long time."
King lived around Marysville for nearly three decades and left a strong impression on everybody who met him.
"He always hit every emotion and nerve in your body," Yuba County Supervisor John Nicoletti recalled. "He could be enthusiastic, entertaining and impressive just as fast as he could insult and yell at you. You got a lot of life when you connected with George."
CONTACT Rob Parsons at firstname.lastname@example.org or 749-4785. Find him on Facebook at /ADcrimebeat.
Street preacher in front of post office
Many knew Mederic "Crazy George" King as an itinerant, scruffy bearded street preacher who yelled at people walking past the post office. He was a deeply spiritual evangelist who never attended any church.
"He'd preach on the streets," Yuba County Supervisor John Nicoletti said. "His evangelism was a street evangelism."
Friends described King as a wildly intelligent, incredibly generous man, who could discuss obscure Bible passages with authority and could also pivot quickly talk about his beloved San Francisco Giants with equal scholarship.
"He could talk about Willie Mays and not skip a beat and starting talking about Buster Posey," Nicoletti said.
Doctors were helping George confront his past
During the last year, Yuba County Supervisor John Nicoletti said Mederic "Crazy George" King's doctors helped him confront many such demons from his past.
"I think the doctors were really helping him to peel back the many emotional layers of his life," Nicoletti said.
"He was coming back, starting to light up again and there was a great sense of rejuvenation and spirit."
Nicoletti said for all King's complaining and yelling about Marysville and its residents, King was one of the city's best, brightest and certainly most colorful advocates.
"I think he wanted to send the message to folks that he really did love the people of Marysville," Nicoletti said.
Still, many will miss King's presence outside the Marysville post office.
Last year, King told the Appeal-Democrat that he hoped to get back there as soon as possible.
"That's where God wants me," he said.
Pain came from giving up his son
The cranky and lovable Mederic "Crazy George" King suffered through great physical and emotional pain for much of his life.
King never got over the pain of losing custody of his son during the late 1980s or early 1990s, Yuba County Supervisor John Nicoletti said.
"He said he remembers watching his son leave, staring at him out the back window of the car," Nicoletti recalled. "It was an extremely emotional situation for me, very painful."
Lost in anger, friends recall King "called upon God's wrath" and put a curse on Marysville.
"The curse was against Marysville's prosperity," Nicoletti explained. "Later he said he didn't mean to do it, he was just very angry."
Believing it could help King's emotional healing, Nicoletti once asked King if he would consider undoing the curse.
"He told me it would be 'very complicated,'" Nicoletti said, laughing. "But that he would do his best."
‘Crazy George’ was dominant shuffleboard player
During some of his happiest times, Mederic "Crazy George" King was also a dominant shuffleboard player.
"George once had me spot him the entrance fee for a shuffleboard tournament," friend Charlie Dillard recalled. "He walked away with the whole purse at the end of the night."
What made King's performance so impressive that night, Dillard recalled, was King's partner was drunk and unable to compete.
"He was smashed and useless," Dillard said of King's partner. "George had to literally carry his partner the whole way."
— Rob Parsons