James David King

December 14, 1926December 26, 2022
Obituary of James David King
James D. King December 14, 1926 – December 26, 2022 James “Jim” King spent Christmas Day surrounded by family and close friends before passing away peacefully early the next morning. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and friend to all who knew him. Jim was born at Sunshine Hospital in San Diego to Lillian and Ernest King, and spent his early childhood in Rancho Santa Fe, living with his parents and older brother on the property of the Santa Fe Irrigation District where Ernest was a facilities manager. The family moved to Solana Beach in 1930, where Jim lived for the rest of his life. He graduated from San Dieguito High School in 1944 and joined the Navy, serving in San Diego during the last two years of WWII. After the war Jim became a plumbing contractor and in 1946, with his brother Robert (Bob), started a water conditioning business in Solana Beach. Jim did installations and servicing of equipment himself for a year, after which Bob took over the weekday work while Jim got his business degree at Woodbury College in Los Angeles, still coming home on weekends to install water softeners and run service calls. In 1949, Jim and Bob, with their father, seized the opportunity to purchase a lot from the Santa Fe Irrigation District at 111 S. Cedros, where they built the block building that would house Culligan Soft Water Service of Solana Beach for the next 37 years. Jim was the epitome of hard work, and by his example inspired everyone around him. Jim started dating Marjorie (Janie) Phillips from Encinitas, and the two were married in April 1951. They were inseparable for the next 70 years. In 1952 through 1953 Jim and Janie built their own home in Solana Beach (where they lived until their passing). Son, Jimmy, and daughters Teri and Nancy were born soon after. The family enjoyed many camping trips to the Sierra, Baja California, and Northern California, as well as regular weekends to the shores of the Colorado River and remote areas of the Anza Borrego Desert to coincide with the full moon. Countless days were spent at the local beaches during summer months. After becoming “empty nesters,” the couple continued their adventures, traveling by motor home to Jim’s family reunions in Canada, and taking annual winter trips to Yosemite. Jim served on the Solana Beach School Board as trustee and president for 19 years during the 1960s and 70s. In 1979, looking for a new challenge, the Kings purchased a small resort at Rock Creek Lake in the eastern Sierra Nevada, after camping on the lake with friends and family for many years. He and Janie worked at the resort for weeks at a time, hauling building materials from the city for new cabin construction, helping to build the cabins, and providing a friendly face at the store and cafe counter. Jim was a fierce opponent of Solana Beach incorporation, but after losing that battle in 1986, became one of the city’s biggest cheerleaders, serving on multiple committees, and was instrumental in creation of the Cedros Design District. He retired and sold the Culligan business in 1986, but kept the properties where he was happy to see businesses like Culture Brewery, Zinc Café (now Lofty Coffee), Solana Beach Art and Frame, and Mabel’s take root and prosper. After retirement Jim served on the Board of Directors and as president of the Santa Fe Irrigation District for more than a decade. He knew the water business inside and out and was well aware of water as a valuable resource. Jim preached water conservation decades before the term became a household phrase. Jim and Janie were long-time members of Solana Beach Presbyterian Church and active members of the Palomar Model A Ford Club. A proud Rotarian, for many years Jim organized and ran the Del Mar Rotary Club's regular blood drives with the San Diego Blood Bank, spending hours on the phone convincing Rotary members and their families to brave the needle. He loved vintage cars, camping, water skiing, the San Diego Padres, the San Diego Chargers, and body surfing at Solana Beach. Jim was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 70 years, Janie; parents Ernest and Lillian, brother Robert, and sister Patricia Bratton. He is survived by his son Jim (Sue), daughters Teri and Nancy (Rebecca), and grandchildren Amy (Steve), Kristin (Eduard), and Justin. Jim King was a supporter of and would be honored by donations in his memory to the Community Resource Center (, and Mexican American Educational Guidance Association ( become a blood donor! A Celebration of Life will be held at Solana Beach Presbyterian Church on Saturday, January 21, 2023 at 11 a.m., followed by a reception

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