We should not forget those who made our communities special

Editorial -
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As we reflect on 2007, we should remember those we have lost who have made significant contributions to our communities.
It is the people, whether young or old, who make our communities truly special. While we cant possibly name them all, these are just a few of the people we lost in 2007 who we should all learn from and try to emulate their dedication and commitment to the communities they called home.
At just 13-years-old, Seth Cook was well known and loved in his hometown of Darrington. Born with progeria, a rare disease that ages its victims so quickly that many of them dont live to be teenagers, he also became an inspiration to people across the nation in 2004 when Dateline NBC did a special report on Seth and his family. Despite the hardships of the disease, Seth and his family remained upbeat and optimistic, living life to the fullest.
Levi Larson was 100 years old when he passed away Sept. 5. Larson had spent 46 years in the ministry. He was pastor of Marysville First Assembly during the 1940s and 50s, then later in the 60s and 70s. His greatest pride was opening a canteen for servicemen about to be shipped off to fight in World War II. He started the canteen on a shoestring, relying on prayers and contributions to the offering plate to sustain the storefront operation for the next three years. When they tell you I am gone, dont cry, but rejoice because I am more alive than I have ever been, Larsen said shortly before his death.
Arlingtons Don Meier was known to many as number things former owner of Meiers Clothing in downtown Arlington, City Council member, airport manager and more. Meiers dedication and commitment to his community earned him a variety of awards and recognition. He received a distinguished service award from the Arlington Jaycees and he was recognized by the Chamber of Commerce with a Community Service Award in 1986 and was made a life member in 1990. In June of 2007, Meier was recognized with the Stillaguamish Senior Centers Lifetime Achievement Award. Meier was also active in the Kiwanis Club, Masons, Stillaguamish Senior Center Advisory Board, Cascade Valley Hospital Citizens Advisory and North Snohomish County Rotary. Meier made many contributions and left a legacy we would all do well to follow.
Many Marysville residents knew Lillie Lein for her work as a city employee but she will be remembered most for her dedication to her favorite charities the Marysville Community Food Bank and Operation Marysville Community Christmas. Her hard work and commitment throughout the years helped ensure that many of Marysvilles less fortunate families would be able to celebrate the holidays. Leins efforts were so admired by her co-workers that they gathered more than $4,000 worth of toys this year in her memory.
Twenty-year-old Shawn Starkovich was serving his country when he was killed July 17 in Al Anbar Province of Iraq. The Marine Lance Corporal, who attended Marysville-Pilchuck High School but graduated early from Arlington High School in 2005, signed up for the Marine Corps before his 18th birthday.
These are just a few of the many people whose service and commitment we should remember. Their passing is a loss to the communities they called home. We should honor them, and all the others, by continuing their tradition of serving our communities. We should all strive to follow their example and commit ourselves to making a difference in the lives of others.


To contact a member of The Marysville Globe/Arlington Times editorial board Kris Passey or Scott Frank e-mail forum@premier1.net.

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