SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Funeral services are pending here for Charles "Chuck" Collings, who died Saturday following prolonged health problems. He was 87.

Collings was named president of Raley's here in 1969 and chief executive officer in 1992. He retired from the company in 1998, though he remained a member of the board of directors until 2006 and carried the honorary title of CEO emeritus.

Collings began working in a grocery store in Ada, Okla., as a youth and was named the store's manager when he was 16. Following service in the Navy during World War II, he worked for a wholesale meat packer and subsequently as accounting department manager for a Montgomery Ward store in Oakland, Calif. In 1956 he was recruited by Tom Raley to join the Raley's management team.


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The Sacramento Bee quoted Michael Teel, Tom Raley's grandson and the chain's president and CEO, as saying, "Chuck was Raley's. He was a strong leader who set high expectations for business performance and a moral tone for all to follow."

Collings was a former chairman of the California Grocers Association and was inducted into CGA's Educational Foundation Hall of Achievement in 1998.

He is survived by his wife of nearly 66 years, Frances, who said Collings "already had everything lined up" for his services, including some of his own thoughts to be read aloud by others, the Bee reported.

"That's the way he was," she added. "He took care of everything so that other people wouldn't have to when the time came.That's how thoughtful he was."

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