May 3, 1922 - August 25, 2019 Arlene Mildred Wangsmo Darr, 97, beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend, passed away peacefully on August 25, 2019 surrounded by her family. She was a gracious, charming, gentle woman. Arlene was born on May 3, 1922, at the home of her grandparents in Arlington, Washington. She was the fourth of five children born to Norwegian parents, John and Anna Wangsmo. Arlene was proud of her Scandinavian heritage, as she was the granddaughter and daughter of Norwegian immigrants and part of a Snohomish County pioneer family. Arlene attended Island School, a one room country schoolhouse in Arlington. She graduated from Arlington High School in 1940, where she was a member of the Torch Honor Society and served as Girls' Club President. A highlight of her high school years came in 1939 when she served as Miss Columbia, and led the 4th of July parade through the streets of Arlington. This honor provided her with her first airplane ride, the use of a new car for a day, and a ride in a horse drawn carriage. It was a fun, memorable event that she enjoyed recounting every Fourth of July. Arlene attended Wilson Business College in Seattle, Washington. Following graduation, she went to work at the First National Bank of Everett, specializing in the stocks and bonds department. While in Everett, she joined the Skateland Co-Eds, a roller skating team. It was at the roller rink that she first met a "darling sailor boy", asking him to skate on a "Ladies Choice". Arlene married Myron James Darr one year later, on November 16, 1945, at "The Little White Church on the Hill" in Silvana, Washington. They celebrated nearly 64 years of love and life together. In 1948, Arlene and Myron moved to Ohio, where Myron worked as a barber alongside his father and and brother, while Arlene worked in the Auditor's Office at the County Courthouse. Here, their first child, Myrene, was born. After returning to Washington in 1950, Myron opened Darrs' Barber Shop on Riverside Drive in Mount Vernon, Washington. In 1952, they welcomed their second child, Jim. Arlene was the ultimate caregiver to her husband and children. She was a wonderful homemaker, loving wife, caring mother, and gracious hostess to her many friends. Her home was always warm and inviting. She enjoyed baking and cooking, and is well known for her delicious pies, Norwegian Christmas cookies, Swedish pancakes, homemade butterhorns, and cinnamon rolls. She poured her love into these tasks, and the reward for her was the joy it gave to others. No visitor was ever allowed to leave unfed. Arlene's first love was for her husband and family. She often said that the most important job in the world was being a good wife and mother, and she excelled in those roles. She enjoyed entertaining and was gifted not only in setting a lovely table, but in serving delicious food as well. Her love of family made her home a central location for family gatherings, holidays, and celebrations. She carried on traditions, that have become a lifetime of wonderful memories for her children and grandchildren. In her later years, her grandchildren would gather to cook with her and learn the "secrets" of some of their favorite foods. Perhaps she will be remembered most for her gift of creating a warm and loving home where family and friends were always welcome. Arlene cherished her friends. She loved them as if they were family and warmly welcomed them into her home and beach cabin on Camano Island. She greeted everyone with a hug and warm smile. Arlene focused on raising her children, delaying work outside the home until after her children had graduated from high school. She then returned to work as the secretary /bookkeeper for Anesthesia Services, Inc. at Skagit Valley Hospital, retiring in December of 1987. She was a woman of great emotional and spiritual strength. Her courage, faithfulness, and love of life were an inspiration. Arlene's unique gift of finding the positive in any situation touched many. She will be remembered for her love and kindness towards others, ability to listen and understand, and her way of making you feel special. Arlene was active in the community. She volunteered both her time and her talents to many activities. She served as a Blue Bird and Campfire leader, a Cub Scout den mother, worked on the Election Board, was a census taker, and served as PTA President at Jefferson School. She participated for many years in Floral Arts, on Class Reunion Committees, Women of the Moose , the Cora Jennings Orthopedic Guild, Sons of Norway, worked on the Skagit Valley Hospital Bond Committee for the new hospital (while in her 80's) and was a member of Chapter H, P.E.O. She was an avid Bridge player. Arlene was an active member of Salem Lutheran Church for 68 years where she served as a Sunday School teacher, member of the Friendship Circle, and where she and Myron enjoyed being greeters on Sunday mornings. Arlene was a very loving, gentle, and kind person. She was a devoted mother and grandmother and served as a great role model for her family, who were her top priority. She always had a positive outlook on life and was forever passing on pearls of wisdom which included "Always do your best", "Treat others the way you want to be treated" and "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all". She truly tried to live by these ideals. Arlene believed in making the best of whatever challenges were presented. She was both inspired by and an inspiration to those who knew her. Her family would like to thank her special caregivers (especially Leann, Claudia, Hannah and Jennifer) for the loving care they provided for her at The Bridge. They also want to thank the loving staff at Hospice of the Northwest, including Yvonne, Karuna, and Halley, for their care and kindness. Her family feels very blessed to have had these kind, loving, and sensitive people in our mother's life. Their gentle hands and loving hearts provided abundant physical and emotional care. Arlene was preceded in death by her loving and devoted husband of 64 years, Myron; parents, John and Anna Wangsmo; two brothers and two infant sisters, Arnold, Kenneth, Marguerite and Alice Wangsmo; son-in-law, Larry Moller; sister-in-law, Lucille Wangsmo; brother-in-law, Weldon Darr; sister-in-law Ruth Darr, and niece, Jan Eicher. Arlene is survived by her daughter, Myrene Moller of Burlington, and son and daughter-in-law Jim and Penny Darr of Mill Creek; beloved grandchildren Krissa (Jacob) Alvarado, Jeffrey (Jillian) Moller, James Hayton, and Lauren (Tyler) Peterson. Arlene has ten precious great-grandchildren; Kailey, Jenna, Ethan, Kaiden, Paisley, Elleigh, Mia, Henry, Tate, and Elliot. She is also survived by her sister-in-law, Marilyn McDonald and many special friends, including Dorothy Carroll, Helga Schink, and Glenn Springer. Should you consider sending a memorial, may we suggest the Salem Lutheran Scholarship Fund, Hospice of the Northwest, or a charity of your own choice. A graveside service will be held at 11:00am on Tuesday, September 3rd, at Hawthorne Memorial Park followed by A Celebration of Life at 1:00pm at Salem Lutheran Church in Mount Vernon, Washington. Arrangements are under the care of Hawthorne Funeral Home, Mount Vernon, WA.

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