City mourns passing of Dick Larsen
October 14, 2008 · Updated 1:46 PM
ARLINGTON — He never said much, but everyone respected him.
An institution in Arlington, Richard N. “Dick” Larsen died peacefully in his home Oct. 4, at age 73.
“He was a quiet guy, but when he spoke, it was important,” said Mayor Margaret Larson, whose husband was mayor when Dick Larsen got elected City Councilman.
At the Oct. 6 City Council meeting, Councilwoman Sally Lien said it all.
“You could always tell when Dick was not happy about the turn of things,” she said. “He’d cross his arms over his chest, bend his head over and growl.”
One of Larsen’s eight kids agreed.
“He did that at home, too,” said Rick Larsen at the memorial service held at the Catholic Church because it wouldn’t fit into the Arlington United Church where Dick’s wife Yolanda attends regularly.
Their daughter, Sharryn Walker spoke in honor of her father.
“We learned no gift of gab from our father,” she said, making the large crowd chuckle. “What we did inherit is our ability to do.”
Born in Bellingham, Dick spent much of his life in the outdoors of Washington. As a boy living in Seiku, he watched the boats come in and went crabbing. After his family moved to Granite Falls in 1947, he and several friends biked the Mountain Loop Highway. As a young adult, Dick worked as a firefighter for the National Forest Service, and as a logger in the woods of Snohomish County.
Later, he worked for the Snohomish County PUD, first as a journeyman, then a lineman, and finally as a foreman. He retired in 1999.
Dick met Yolanda Rosenbach at a dance at Silvana’s Viking Hall, and the two were married in April 1958. As their family grew, the Larsens settled in Arlington, becoming involved in the community. Dick was an ardent supporter of Arlington High School, traveling with Yolanda to watch not just their own children, but others who represented the Eagles. Their support was acknowledged when they were selected to be the 2007 AHS Homecoming Grand Marshals.
Dick served on the Arlington Planning Commission, Airport Commission, and City Council. He was a past member of the Lion’s Club, the IBEW No. 77, and the morning coffee group at Brooster’s.
The manager at the airport, Rob Putnam said that Dick was a loyal member of the airport commission during his last few years.
“He was always there. He didn’t say much in the meetings, but he stopped by the office to chat at least once a month,” Putnam said.
In retirement, Dick traveled to the eastern United States, as well as the southern Midwest. He and Yolanda took many day and weekend trips to his favorite Washington locales, including Ocean Shores, LaConner and Leavenworth.
“It’s the end of an era,” Mayor Larson said.
To honor Dick’s legacy, donations may be made in his name to Skagit Hospice, 819 S. 13th St., Mt. Vernon, WA, 98274 , or AHS Dollars for Scholars, PO Box 43, Arlington, WA, 98223.