James Eric Adkins “Eric,” born Eric Anthony Retzaloff, was a man of adventure, and art, and possessed a dedicated passion for sports, physical fitness, and drag racing. He began his life in San Francisco where he spent six years until he was adopted into the home of Eunice and James Zumo. Finding his fervor for sports at a young age, Eric was a lettered member of the football, wrestling, and track teams at Sonora Union High School.
After his graduation in 1965 he attended Taft Junior College until he transferred to San Jose State University on a football scholarship. There Eric found a new passion in art and design. He took his bachelor’s degree in applied arts and graphic design to Sacramento in 1981 where he settled into a career of logo design and sign making. He proved to be a gifted artist. He honed his skillset under a multitude of design centered companies until 1993 when he founded his own company, Golden Coast Signs.
His work is memorialized in and across the Sacramento area. A few of his notable designs, though there are many more, include La Bou, Hooters, Interstate Oil, Sutter Medical Group, and the “Mega Map” in channel 31’s Good Day Sacramento studio.
Eric’s appetite for life, however, was not only centered around his craft. He spent much of his time playing and attending sporting events, caring for his garden, creating lavish but healthy meals, and was a highly regarded member of The Capital City Gym; and it was there, in 2005, that he met Kris. While they did not marry until 2015 they began their life together under the equally demanding title of “Workout Partners.” Their relationship grew as they discovered they enjoyed many of the same activities. Together they attended sporting events, cared for their garden, went to the gym, traveled and, as much as Eric loved cooking for Kris, Kris loved equally the meals he made for her. When they adopted their three cats, Rudy, Katie, and Rocky, they knew their family was whole and happy.
Though he was a Californian in practice, Eric felt a strong pull to the tropics. He revered his annual trips to Kona, Hawaii, and got to experience among other places, the Caribbean, the carnival in Rio de Janeiro, and the Mexican Rivera. Eric would recount some of his favorite memories as snorkeling with manta rays, watching lava flow into the ocean, and star gazing with his wife on Mauna Kea. Kris plans on continuing their annual trips, and Eric’s ashes will be spread over some of his favorite places.
In May, Eric succumbed to his battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife, Kristine Poulson; his sister, Lynne St. Clair; and his three fur babies. A celebration of life will be held at the Antelope VFW ay noon Sept. 15, 2019. A September date has been chosen to assure all friends, family, and those whose lives were touched by Eric are encouraged to attend.