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Former mayor may soon be honored with park renaming
sunnyview park pic
Allisyn Gehring plays with her boxer, Emma, at Sunnyview Park in 2013. The park may soon be renamed in honor of former Turlock mayor Quaile Norton. - photo by Journal file photo

The City of Turlock’s Sunnyview Park might soon bear the name of the late Mayor Quaile Norton, following the request of a Turlock resident.

Having lived in Turlock for the past 60 years, resident Donna Pierce approached the Turlock Parks and Recreation Commission calling for the City to recognize the significant contributions Norton made to the community while serving as mayor.

“Quaile Norton was an involved citizen in Turlock for over 60 years. He and his wife Esther moved here in 1947, when they bought the Norton Mortuary before retiring in 1979,” said Pierce. “Quaile served as president of general civic organizations, including the Turlock Rotary. A member of the Houseman Club, Masonic Lodge, and Eastern Star, he was also the first chair of the Turlock United Way.”

Aside from being involved in several local organizations, Norton served Turlock as a Turlock Unified School Board member, as well as sitting on the Turlock City Council before serving as mayor from 1957 to 1960.

During his free time, Norton could also be found within the community volunteering his time at Turlock High School football games as an announcer, while encouraging others to get involved.

“He loved all outdoor activities,” said Pierce. “And he loved people.”

After taking Pierce’s suggestion into consideration, City staff recommended that the existing city facility Sunnyview Park be renamed after Norton. Located at 500 S. Berkeley Ave., the park has a large playground area, shade trees, park benches, small picnic areas and barbecues, dog park and a restroom facility. The park additionally serves as a storm basin.

Norton’s wife, Esther Norton, said that the location has the amenities she desired for representing her late husband’s efforts to the community.

Although the Parks and Recreation Commission approved the renaming, the official decision will ultimately rest in the hands of the City Council.

If approved by the City Council, Esther Norton has agreed to pay for the new sign, which is estimated to cost roughly $5,500.