A park will be renamed in honor of a past Turlock mayor, following the unanimous approval of the Turlock City Council Tuesday night.
Sunnyview Park will henceforth be known as “Quaile Rand Norton Park,”
“I’m very happy to have this presented tonight,” Turlock Mayor John Lazar said.
Norton and his wife moved to Turlock in 1947, when they purchased the Norton Mortuary which they ran until 1979.
Quaile Norton was both a Turlock City Councilman and a Turlock Unified School District Board Member. He held the title of Mayor of Turlock from 1957 through 1960.
“He was a big personality,” said Turlocker Donna Pierce. “He loved life. He was a member of almost every civic organization, president of most of them.”
Norton helmed the Turlock Rotary, was the first chairman of the Turlock United Way, and was a member of both the Horseman's Club and the Masonic Lodge. He also announced Turlock High School football games.
The renaming effort began when Pierce, a friend of Norton’s widow, approached Turlock city staff with the request. Staff considered several locations before determining that Sunnyview Park was the most appropriate candidate for renaming.
"He loved dogs, so we thought the dog park was a good possibility for him," Pierce said.
Lazar, who knew Norton, said he appreciated everything the former mayor did for the community. Lazar pointed to the rear of the council chambers, where a photograph hangs of all past mayors – Norton included.
“The best looking one on there,” his widow, Esther Norton, said.
Esther Norton will bear all costs for a new sign bearing the name of Quaile Norton Park. The sign is estimated at $5,500.
Sunnyview Park is located at 500 S. Berkeley. It is home to what is now Turlock's only dog park; a second dog park is planned for the newly renamed Swanson-Centennial Park on Countryside Drive.
The Turlock Parks, Recreation and Community Programs Commission endorsed the park’s renaming during a Feb. 12 meeting.