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North Country mourns loss of political giant Fred King

by Tara Giles
Sports reporter - Coos County Democrat and Berlin Reporter
March 03, 2021
COLEBROOK — "There will only be one Fred King. Coös County lost an irreplaceable advocate. He transcended party politics. I considered Fred to be not only a friend who I truly respected, but a great mentor and teacher," said Berlin Mayor Paul Grenier of the late Fred King.

"If you had interest in any subject matter that involved Coös County, Fred would work hard to make sure you were educated and truly understood the issues. He was not interested in fluff, substance was his forte. I will miss Fred's take on any issue, and our County will forever be in a better place for his years of service. Coös has lost its true lion and I offer my sympathies to Betty and family for their loss as well," said Grenier.

The former state Senator and Colebrook resident passed away last Saturday at the age of 91. He will be remembered as a fierce advocate for the North Country and Coos County, often referred to as a 'political giant.' Serving time as a member of the House Finance Committee along with the Senate Finance Committee, King was known as an expert in finances and budget.

He was born in St. Albans, Vt. in 1929. He earned a degree in Education from the University of Vermont in 1950. He served as a Second Lieutenant in the Army Infantry in 1951, serving in the Korean Conflict in the 45th Division, earning a Bronze Star. In 1951 he married Betty Jean Drake.

He will be remembered as a science teacher and coach as well. In 1957, he began a Ford Dealership in Colebrook, and made the northern town his permanent home.

King wore many hats, including Coös County Administrator, State Senator, State Representative and County Treasurer. A rest area in Colebrook was named for King in 2018.

State Rep. Troy Merner of Lancaster said that King was an institution to the North Country.

Merner shared, "With all the positions he held, he was the reason we ended up with the nursing home. I was proud to be there for the dedication of the state rest area in Colebrook. It was great to see Fred King and his whole family and all of the State officials there for the dedication of a great man who has done so much for Coös County."

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