Randal Lee Wilson of King Fresh Produce Passes Away

Randal Lee Wilson of King Fresh Produce Passes Away

BAKERSFIELD, CA - For 44 years, Randal Lee Wilson made an indelible mark on the produce industry. After a courageous battle with cancer, we are saddened to report his passing earlier this month.

Randal was born in 1957 in Bakersfield, California, before being raised in Shafter. He furthered his education at Bakersfield College, where he was an integral part of the championship Bakersfield Renegade football team that secured victory in the Junior College Rose Bowl.

After graduating with his Associate’s degree, he moved on to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where he obtained a degree in Agriculture Business Marketing in 1980.

After that, he immediately jumped into the fresh produce industry, where he made significant strides in the sales/broker sector. In 1980, Randal started working for Sun World as a produce salesman. His work at the company eventually led to a partnership with Cal West Produce, which in turn led him to establish his own company, Randy Wilson Co., which was responsible for brokering and marketing fruit.

Our industry is mourning the loss of Randal Lee Wilson, who made an indelible mark on the produce sector

He then joined his brother Keith Wilson at King Fresh Produce. When describing his family's grapes, he once famously remarked, "We don't grow Chevys. We grow Cadillacs."

His love for the industry ran deep, as many of his industry peers fondly remember. He actively fostered growth and development among his peers, leaving a lasting impression through his mentorship. He selflessly shared his knowledge and expertise and asked for little in return. Those who had the privilege of being around him will always remember him for the mentor he was.

Outside of the industry, Randal showed a love for speed evident in his passion for motocross racing, track car racing, and flying planes. He had a deep appreciation for music and treasured attending Willie Nelson's 90th celebration in the spring of 2023. In his later years, he created cherished memories with his partner, LeAnn.

Randal had a deep love and pride for his family, which included his children Meyer and Corinne; LeAnn’s daughters Julianne and Lacey; and his grandchildren Luke, Hank, Cora, Ellie, Gemma, and Clover.

His impact extended beyond his immediate family, leaving a lasting impression on many. He was tremendously proud of his roots in Shafter and his extensive family, including his Kirschenmann cousins. He also held great pride in his nieces and nephews and their growing families.

Randal is preceded in death by his father, Woody Wilson; survived by his mother, Louise; LeAnn Guelker, his partner of 23 years; sister Sandy (Wilson) Kroeker; brother Keith (Lisa), son Meyer Wilson, daughter Corinne Pettit (Justin), and grandchildren Luke, Hank, and Cora.

In his final days, Randal shared beautiful moments with his loved ones and left his daughter Corinne with the words, "Everything is going to be okay."

His legacy will forever resonate in the hearts of those he touched. A memorial service will be held on January 19 at 1 p.m. PST at the Rio Bravo Country Club. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his granddaughter's honor to the “Walking with Cora Foundation.”

Our hearts are deeply saddened by this loss. We extend our thoughts and prayers to everyone affected by Randal’s passing at this time.