Donald Ray Presson, 77, the founder and president of Spray King Manufacturing, Inc. of Fresno, Calif., died Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009, after a long illness. He was born March 17, 1931.
Mr. Presson started building spray machines in his backyard
in 1957, and later founded Spray King Manufacturing in 1966. According to the
company Web site, he started out as a drywall contractor, but the experience gave
him solid ground and insight into what the construction industry needed in a
spray machine. He invented a more efficient method of pumping texture and
acoustic, obtained a patent for his pump, and founded Sprayline Manufacturing.
He later sold Sprayline and founded Spray King Manufacturing.
Mr. Presson held several world records as a drag boat racer
in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He twice broke world speed records while
driving his Sanger boat, “Slingshot.” A 1965 explosion ended his drag racing
career, but not his love for speed. He also raced motorcycles and flew his own
Family members said Mr. Presson loved Mexico and often flew his plane to and from a
house he shared with several fishing buddies in Abreojos, Baja, Calif.
He is survived by his wife, Arleen, of Clovis,
Calif.; children, Rebekah (Dewey) Presson
Mosby of Hamilton, N.Y., Deby (Robert) Hill of Clovis, and Guy
of Fresno; stepdaughter, Kara (Jim) Veith; sister, Lisa Kay Presson; 10
grandchildren; and a great-grandchild.
A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 5,
2009, at the New Hope Community Church,
4620 E. Nees Ave.,
in Clovis. He
will be interred at the Red Bank Cemetery
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to be sent
to SPCA or the American Heart Association.
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