Charles "Chuck" Collings, a key Raley's executive who was actively involved with the West Sacramento company for nearly 50 years, died over the weekend.
Officials of Raley's said he died Saturday of natural causes. He was 87.
Mr. Collings retired in 1998, but his presence within the company was so profound that he continued to serve on the company's board for years after retirement.
He was first elected to the board in 1957.
Mr. Collings' career in the grocery industry began with him sweeping floors and bagging dry goods in a small grocery store in Ada, Okla., when he was a youngster. When he turned 16, he became grocery manager of the store.
After serving three years in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he returned to work for a wholesale meat packer. He was also an accounting department manager for a Montgomery Ward store in Oakland.
In 1956, Chuck was recruited by company founder Tom Raley to join Raley's management team.
He held various positions, and in 1969, Mr. Collings became president of Raley's Superstores.
He was influential in the purchase of the Eagle Thrifty Drug chain, which became the beginnings of the Raley's Northern Nevada Division. He also assisted in the creation of Mid-Valley Dairy and Super Store Industries.
Mr. Collings was appointed Raley's CEO in 1992. He stayed on the board of directors until 2006, with additional title of "CEO Emeritus."
Mr. Collings is past chairman of the California Grocers Association and of the CGA Educational Foundation. He was named Sacramentan of the Year in 1997 by the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.
In 1998, he was inducted into the California Grocers' "Hall of Fame."
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