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King Celebrates 85-Years

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Thelma E. (Adams) King turns 85-years-old on October 31, 2009. An early birthday party was held for her this past Saturday at her home in Rubidoux with family and friends. King is one of the original owners of Adams Kart Track which will be celebrating fifty years in business this coming January 2010.

Thelma was born in Monrovia, CA, the fifth (5th) child of eleven children born to Frank and Mary Adams. Thelma graduated from Monrovia High School after World War II had began, much like many women she worked for the War effort.

She worked at Lockheed Aircraft Corporation.

In 1943 Frank and Mary Adams moved their family to Riverside and settled in Belltown. Thelma moved to Riverside in 1944. She worked then at Norton Air Force Base. When the War ended, she attended a private school, and then changed to Riverside City College where she worked as a library assistant and received her AA Degree. She worked at the college library until 1950. During that period 1946 – 1948, Thelma belonged to the Riverside Playhouse where she appeared in several stage productions.

In 1942 until 1946 Thelma was a USO hostess and visited many Air Force and Naval bases.

She was hired by the government and worked as a Library Assistant for the Naval Ordinance Station in Inyokern, CA, There she met and married Charles R. King. Their marriage lasted 51 years until his death in April of 2006.

Later the Federal Government changed the name to Department of Defense.

Thelma and Charles returned to Riverside in 1978 to take care of her parents. She had been a member of the African Methodist Church all her life and upon returning to Riverside, she and her husband joined Allen Chapel AME Church where she is still a member.

In 1959 Thelma and Charles and several other family members purchased the first Go-Kart that catapulted Adams Kart Track to the level of karting that Adams Track is known for today.

Adams Kart Track, now known as Adams Motorsports Park, will be celebrating 50 years of karting in January 2010.  Thelma as the senior (matriarch) member of the family sits as an advisor on the Celebration committee. They are planning a banquet to be held at the Marriott Hotel, Riverside, on Thursday, January 28, 2010.

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