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McClure named Outstanding Citizen by Arlington Masons

Ray McClure accepts the Howard Christianson Outstanding Citizen of the Year award from George Fischer, master of the Arlington Masonic Lodge No. 129 of the Free and Accepted Masons, with life-time Mason Harley Robb watching. -
Ray McClure accepts the Howard Christianson Outstanding Citizen of the Year award from George Fischer, master of the Arlington Masonic Lodge No. 129 of the Free and Accepted Masons, with life-time Mason Harley Robb watching.
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ARLINGTON Temperance, fortitude, prudence and justice are the Masonic characteristics that the Arlington Masons seek in the recipients of their Outstanding Citizen of the Year Award. Everyone agreed Saturday night, March 15, that Ray McClure was the perfect match even his sons.
Speaking on behalf of three brothers, the eldest, Mark McClure, agreed that his father has always been very patient, calm and wise.
He has always had a special ability to calm people down, Mark McClure said, while attempting to roast his dad, who was recognized for his long service to the Cascade Valley Hospital Board of Directors.
The worst story Mark could come up with, however, is when his father was sprayed by what he thought was a toilet, in one of his first business trips overseas to Japan.
What you see in public is the same at home, Mark said. He is always fair-minded, kind and generous.
Ray McClure was born in Arlington in 1929. His first job was with Arlington Lumber & Plywood. When that business closed down, McClure settled in marketing and sales for Twin City Foods in Stanwood. He retired as vice president of the company, and served his own hometown by volunteering on the board of directors for Cascade Valley Hospital for more than 20 years.
Calm and effective leadership were the strengths identified by Clark Jones, current administrator of the hospital.
I dont know how long exactly he was there, but I know he was already on the board when I started working for CVH in 1988, Jones said.
When the hospital faced hard times in the mid-1990s along with all small hospitals, Ray led us through the difficulties, said Jones who then relayed a lot of numbers illustrating the changes that the hospital district went through during McClures 20-some years of service.
When he came on as president of the board, the budget was $6.6 million and its now $34 million. We now have seven clinics and a free-standing surgery center. Jones then noted it was Ray McClure who co-chaired the committee to pass the bond for the upcoming expansion.
He has a very low-key manner with little need for fanfare. Indeed, Ill always remember his retirement. All he wanted was cupcakes.
The Masons took the opportunity to share a bit about their service organization and its ongoing service to the Arlington Community.
The committee always puts a lot of thought into who deserves the award, said George Fischer, current master of the lodge. The committee who selects their citizen of the year is comprised of Warren Schoeben, Harley Robb and Howard Christianson, who is also namesake of the award.
A former recipient of the award, George Boulton spoke on behalf of McClure.
This award is a very neat thing, Boulton said. Most of these things we hear at our funerals. I have to say I am very jealous, though, Boulton joked. When I got my award there was only half this many people. Ray must be very popular.
Then Ray had a chance to speak on his own behalf.
Id like to thank the Masons and this community of Arlington for giving me the opportunity to serve, and for providing a nice, safe place for me to raise my family.
Mayor Margaret Larson was among the crowd of friends and family members, which included most of his seven grandchildren, and Ray and Merilyns first great-grandchild, not yet delivered.
Hes one of the greatest guys Ive ever known, Mayor Larson noted, adding that they have a long history of sharing at the smorgasbords of Our Saviors Lutheran Church.
Another long-time acquaintance and former recipient of the award, Esther Teague claims to have known Ray the longest.
I was there the day he was born, said Teague, who mentioned she will be 85 this year and is a third-generation Arlingtonian.
The namesake of the Masons award, Howard Christianson wanted to have a say about Ray, too.
I taught him how to golf, he laughed. Seriously, though, he has done a lot for this community through his service to the hospital.

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