Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

By Robert D. Dávila
bdavila@sacbee.com

Henry R. Agonia, who was appointed to oversee California state parks by Gov. George Deukmejian, died Jan. 18 of leukemia, his family said. He was 70.

Agonia was parks chief for the city of Glendale when Deukmejian named him in 1987 to be director of the state Department of Parks and Recreation.

He led efforts to manage resources at California parks, campgrounds, beaches and historic sites as public attendance grew while state funding declined. He apologized after stirring up controversy with remarks suggesting state parks should play a role in promoting religion.

A Sacramento resident, Agonia worked as a consultant after leaving state government in 1992. He ran an environmental planning and communications firm and served as executive director of the California Association of Recreation and Park Districts.

Besides his wife, Marlene, he is survived by his mother, three children, a sister, two brothers and eight grandchildren. A memorial service is set for 10 a.m. Friday at East Lawn Memorial Park, 43rd Street and Folsom Boulevard, Sacramento.

A full obituary will appear tomorrow in The Bee.



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