Seaside signal. (Seaside, Or.) 1905-current, December 23, 2016, Page 6A, Image 6

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    6A • December 23, 2016 • Seaside Signal • seasidesignal.com
A ‘LEGACY OF CIVILITY’
Hundreds turn out to honor former mayor
By R.J. Marx
Seaside Signal
A
man of faith and a
playful spirit is the
way friends and fami-
ly members described former
Seaside Mayor Don Larson at
his memorial service at North
Coast Family Fellowship.
The Friday, Dec. 16, service
saw an outpouring of remem-
brance for the man who has
guided Seaside’s civic affairs
as mayor since 2002.
“If there was one person I
know I wish everyone I know
could meet, it would have
been him,” Larson’s grand-
daughter Kirsten Riedel de-
scribed her grandfather. “He
cared about people so much.
His playful spirit came from
a place of love for life and
curiosity and desire to get to
know other people, and to
learn about the good things in
life and the gifts of grace from
our Lord.”
Jay Barber, who replaced
Larson as mayor this month,
pointed to Larson’s “legacy
of civility,” his love for the
city of Seaside and his open-
ness to all citizens. Seaside’s
city workers, police and fire-
fighters and law enforcement
throughout the county rose in
memory of the former mayor.
Speaker after speaker de-
scribed a man of faith who
stressed the model of volun-
teerism, in city government,
in the church and with neigh-
bors. As the city’s flags hung
at half-staff, Larson’s son
Duane Larson recalled how
the family came to the Oregon
Coast on camping trips every
year before settling here per-
manently upon his retirement
as a civilian employee for the
Oregon National Guard and
U.S. Army Reserve.
Pastor Larry Rydman
shared Larson’s reaction to his
cancer diagnosis and the spe-
cial role faith played in his fi-
nal year. “‘I don’t want to think
DANNY MILLER/EO MEDIA GROUP
Duane Larson becomes emotional speaking on behalf of his
family during the funeral of his father, Don Larson, the for-
mer Seaside mayor on Friday, Dec. 6, at North Coast Family
Fellowship in Seaside.
DANNY MILLER/EO MEDIA GROUP
A photograph of Don Larson and his wife, Lois, sits on display
during the funeral.
about heaven,’” Larson told
Rydman. “‘I’ve got too many
things on my to-do list.’”
Larson loved his role as
mayor, Rydman said Friday.
“Five years before his retire-
ment, he said ‘I’m going to
retire in four years and seven
months. Then I’m going to
move to Seaside and become
mayor.”
Larson’s special relation-
ship with children and family
was stressed by speakers.
“His grandchildren were
his greatest sense of joy for
his last 25 years,” Rydman
said. “Don was recently hon-
ored by the city when they
renamed the Seaside Library
the Donald E. Larson build-
ing. He was really touched by
the recognition and the family
was touched that he was given
the honor while still alive.”
At North Coast Fami-
ly Fellowship, Larson was
remembered for his work
with AWANA — an acro-
nym for the scriptural phrase
“approved workers are not
ashamed” — a weekly church
program. Larson worked with
kids every Wednesday night, a
role he continued even while
serving in city office.
“Those kids became so im-
portant to him,” Pastor Dan
Dunn said. “He became our
commander. I would stand
by and watch by the door-
way where all the kids were,
he’d be surrounded by these
kids and he would have them
pray, and he would pray with
them. I was watching this and
thought, ‘How many mayors
are in tune with the kids of
their community as this? And
loved and care about them as
fiercely as he did?’”
One of those AWANA
alumna, Kayla Vowels, sang
“God Bless America.”
Before his death, Larson
asked that all remembrances
be given to YUGO Ministries
toward providing a house
for a deserving family in the
Ensenada, Mexico area.
Larson was born in Port-
land to Elmer and Dena Lar-
son on March 14, 1936, and
has a younger brother Jim.
He is survived by his wife of
55 years, Lois; David Larson,
Kristin Larson and Nicholas
Clayton; Lorraine and Bill
TenHaken and Kirsten and
Josh Riedel, Rebecca and
Brandon Winebrenner, and
Erika and Alex Sneath; Duane
and Elizabeth Larson and Ra-
chel, Cameron and Paige.
Larson retired as sergeant
major, the highest rank for an
enlisted person.
Annual Tillamook Head
Gathering coming Jan. 7
The third annu-
workshops
for
al Tillamook Head
the entire student
Gathering
will
body.
The event also
take place on Sat-
urday, Jan. 7, at the
helped support a
Seaside Civic and
choir trip to Los
Convention Cen-
Angeles, bring in
ter. Doors open
professional mu-
Kelsey
at 6:30 and the
sicians to perform
Mousley
program begins at
in various class-
7 p.m. Soul singer Kelsey es and provide a stipend
Mousley, who graduated for a professional dance
from Seaside High School instructor to share his ex-
about 10 years ago, will pertise through a dance
provide music with her club. A yearbook staff
Portland band. Artists do- photography workshop
nate items for a silent auc- also received funds from
tion; light fare from The concert proceeds.
Stand.
Tickets are $10 at
All proceeds support Seaside Coffee House,
enrichment in the arts for Beach Books, Seaside
local students. Last year’s High School’s business
gathering helped fund an office, or $15 at the con-
arts day at the high school, vention center the day of
in which local artists gave the event.
DINING
on the
NORTH COAST
Great Restaurants in:
GEARHART
SEASIDE
CANNON BEACH
NATIONALLY FAMOUS CLAM CHOWDER • FRESH OREGON SEAFOOD
Santa visits children at holiday celebration
Christmas from Page 1A
“The spirit behind the
event is to provide a fun
holiday environment for
children to come celebrate
together with their commu-
nity and take pictures with
Santa,” said Grace Smith, the
district’s fitness and special
events manager.
The celebration is an an-
nual tradition for the district,
but it was moved this year
from the Seaside Civic and
Convention Center to the
community center. The main
offerings remained the same,
however, Smith said.
Throughout the hall, chil-
dren and their families deco-
rated sugar cookies; crafted
Christmas trees from twigs
and ribbons in various shades
of green; and created paper
wreaths. They snacked on
small Grinch heads made of
green grapes, strawberries
and marshmallows and lined
up to meet with Santa and get
photographs.
According to Smith, it is
primarily community vol-
unteers, along with a couple
staff members, that oversee
the event — from portray-
ing the elves to managing the
snack tables and assisting with
crafts.
“We definitely wouldn’t
KATHERINE LACAZE/FOR SEASIDE SIGNAL
Children and adults enjoy working on holiday-themed arts
and crafts during the Children’s Holiday Celebration at the
Bob Chisholm Community Center on Dec. 10. About 300 peo-
ple attended the free community event, hosted by the Sunset
Empire Park & Recreation District.
be able to run an event like
this without all of our amaz-
ing community support,” she
added.
Another factor in being
able to offer the event to ev-
eryone in the community for
free was sponsorship from
local businesses. The local
Jeremy Mills State Farm In-
surance agency was the title
sponsor, along with Provide
Seaside Hospital. Other lo-
cal businesses supported the
event through in-kind dona-
tions, Smith said.
Holidays are important
times for families in the com-
munity to be able to fellowship
and celebrate with one anoth-
er, Mills said, adding he loves
the Christmas season. During
the past two years, his office
has been intent on finding
events that are geared toward
children or reading-related.
“Our office is built on the
desire to help our communi-
ty,” he said. “Partnering with
Sunset Parks has enabled us to
do that.”
He believes it is import-
ant for businesses like his to
support local organizations
and their community events.
Doing so helps the organiza-
tions expand on the event dy-
namics – making them bigger
and better – and allows them
to continue being free for all,
Mills said.
The agency chose to spon-
sor the Children’s Holiday
Celebration, along with the
district’s Easter and Fourth of
July events, “because I felt it
would have the most impact
and the deepest reach,” Mills
said.
Of all the district’s events,
he said, those are the three
best he could think to be a
part of “to give the most to our
community kids.”
School district intends to hire a project manager
Campus from Page 1A
The second resolution ap-
proved the retention of Dull
Olson Weekes-IBI Group
Architects, of Portland, for
design and architecture ser-
vices. As the district engaged
the firm for pre-bond services
in 2013, and they have con-
tinued to be involved in the
project, there is no need to go
through the entire request for
qualifications process again,
Roley said.
“They were well-vetted
at that time, and have been
great to work with,” she add-
ed. “We have never ceased to
have a formal arrangement
with them.”
District staff intended to
meet with representatives
from the firm this week.
In other news:
The board appointed Kel-
ley Brandon, of Gearhart,
and Brian Dewey, of Cannon
Beach, to represent Zone 4
and Zone 1, respectively, on
the district’s Budget Commit-
tee. The nominations were
made by board members
Mark Truax and Patrick No-
field.
The members discussed
whether Seaside School Dis-
trict should remain part of
the current breach-of-con-
tract class action being taken
against the state of Oregon,
started by Linn County. The
district, like other affected
entities who receive timber
revenue, is automatically part
of the class action. If any en-
tity desires to withdraw, they
must submit it in writing by
Jan. 25, 2017. Business Man-
ager Justine Hill asked the
Clatsop County Department
of Assessment and Taxation
for information on the finan-
cial significance of the class
action to the school district in
terms of additional revenue.
The county agency, which
administers revenue predic-
tions, did not have numbers
as of the December board
meeting, Roley said. Board
members agreed there was
no reason to withdraw. Board
President Steve Phillips said
the class action is “not a po-
litical issue; it’s a contractual
issue.”
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