Stilly Senior Center honors Yolanda Larsen

Yolanda Larsen - Courtesy Photo
Yolanda Larsen
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

ARLINGTON — For Yolanda Larsen, it’s family first.

So when four of her eight children came home with notes saying they needed to each bring four dozen cookies to school, she made 16 dozen cookies.

For her efforts, Larsen, who’s volunteered countless hours in community and parent groups in Arlington for more than 50 years, will be receiving the Stillaguamish Senior Center’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

The fifth annual award breakfast will take place at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 8, at the senior center, located at 19308 Smokey Point Boulevard.

The event’s keynote speaker will be U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, Yolanda Larsen’s son.

Yolanda Larsen, the daughter of Ed and Ethel Rosenbach, was one of nine children. Her family, including eight brothers and sisters, moved to a dairy south of Silvana in 1948.

The family eventually relocated to another dairy just south of Island Crossing.

The family trade made a mark on Yolanda at a young age — she participated in the first Silvana Fair.

Graduating from Arlington High School in 1955, Yolanda married Richard Larsen in 1958. She worked for Seattle First National Bank on Second Avenue and Cherry Street in Seattle, as well as for First National Bank of Everett.

In Arlington, Yolanda was known for her involvement with parent teacher groups and school district bond and levy committees.

Most recently, she took part in the “Arts Alive!” committee, which helped raise more than $2.5 million to build the Byrnes Performing Arts Center at Arlington High School. She also served on the advisory board to the center.

In addition to her school endeavors, Larsen has helped judge Frontier Day parades, volunteered at non-profit Kids Kloset and worked on an oversight committee for the Cascade Valley Hospital construction project.

She’s also served on the Relay for Life committee, the Arlington United Church Board, Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation Board and other positions with Beta Sigma Phi service sorority.

Larsen’s eight children include Randy Larsen, a night manager at Cost Cutter; Sharryn Walker, an assistant professor of education at Central Washington University; Shelley Bannish, the director of student programs at Centralia College; Rick Larsen; Suzi Elsner, a court administrator for the city of Marysville; Sheri Roe, a middle school librarian at the Yelm School District; Ryan Larsen, director of planning, community and economic development for the city of Anacortes; and Shawna Larsen, federal relations director for the city of Seattle.

Yolanda Larsen also played a role in supporting her husband, Dick, as he served as a volunteer. Dick Larsen, who died in 2008, took part on the city airport and planning commissions, as well as the City Council, and was a member of the Lions Club.

Yolanda Larsen said that she is humbled to be selected for the Stillaguamish Senior Center award.

“There are a lot of other folks who are deserving of this award,” Larsen said. “I owe a lot of it to my children. They worked hard to get where they are.”

Previous award winners include Howard Christianson, Ruth and Harry Yost, Don Meier and Dick Post.

The breakfast concludes at 9 a.m.

Seating is limited, so individuals interested in attending the event must contact the center for reservation. The Stillaguamish Senior Center can be reached at 360-653-4551.

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