Our History

Roland and Patricia King


He was born to R.E. King and Eva E. (Yount) King in Carlton. Roland moved to Lebanon because his older sister Idela Osburn wanted to make sure he continued his education. Roland's Dad R.E. thought when he was 17 he did not need to continue school. He wanted Roland to start working in the family logging business. Idela drove to the family home in Carlton, knocked on the door and told her father she was there to take Roland to Lebanon to make sure he graduated from High School. He graduated from Lebanon High School in 1943. He was the senior class president and lettered in several sports. Roland's coach in his High School Sports was Bud Page. Roland and Bud became life-long friends.

He entered the U.S. Army and was a sergeant in the First Cavalry. During World War II, he served in the Pacific Theater (Philippines) where he was awarded a Bronze Star for heroic actions under fire. While on a patrol, Roland and others were pinned down from a machine gun located above them on a hill side. Roland had to climb a hill behind him and run down the hill to throw a grenade into the machine gun nest while under fire. He also received the Purple Heart for injuries sustained in the war.

Roland with the Chamber
Upon returning, Mr. King attended the Eugene School of Business. He and Patricia (Pat) Reeves were married June 21, 1947.

Pat King
They started working in the family business once Pat graduated from the University of Oregon. It was then known as Vern Reeves Insurance Agency. In 1953, they purchased it, eventually renaming it Roland King Insurance Agency. Roland took over the local agency and expanded its' service area to including Oregon, California, Washington and Idaho. He found a niche in the trucking and logging insurance lines. He traveled the four States meeting with customers. He was known to go through a car every two to three years because of the mileage he would put on them.

He was heavily involved in the Lebanon community. He was a member of the group that brought Little League to Lebanon in the 1950s. He was honored for his leadership in youth sports, with the first girls' softball league being named the Roland King Girls Softball League. Mr. King participated in establishing the first workshop for the disabled in Oregon and served on the Willamette Valley Rehabilitation Center board for 25 years.

Founder of Lebanon's Youth Baseball/Softball

Roland Teaches Girls to Ski
For more than 25 years, he served as a community ambassador with the Lebanon Strawberrians. He was a leading fundraiser for the building of Autzen Stadium for the University of Oregon Ducks. It was important for Roland to be active in the community but not important that he get publicity for doing so. He was a ski instructor at Hoodoo Ski Bowl and served as director of the ski school for a few years.

Roland loves to ski
Roland loves to ski

Roland (and Pat) retired from RKI in 1984 when they sold it to Jeff King and Mitch Gordan.

A story about Roland from his son

Roland was always happy to play a joke on his family and friends. A long time ago I won a trip to Bermuda for my sales production with Safeco. It was a fabulous trip that only 150 agents in the United States qualified for. The last night of the trip had a banquet in which everyone attended. This meant attendance was around 500 people with agents, spouses and company personnel. In Bermuda, the "Bermuda Shorts", which tend to be hemmed one inch above the knee, are considered appropriate and very acceptable for formal ware. When I called to tell Roland and Pat how much fun the trip was, they told me that I should wear Bermuda shorts to the banquet, in fact Roland had done so a few years before and it was fine. So I bought a white coat and white formal Bermuda Shorts and wore them to the party. When I got there, I was the only one out of 250 men wearing them. When I called Dad the next day and told him, "Dad... I was the only one that wore Bermuda Shorts." Roland laughed and said, "Yeah, me too!".

Jeff's Bermuda Shorts