North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Darlene Strotz receives Lifetime Achievement Award

 

Christopher Andersson

Arlington community member Darlene Strotz thanks the many people who have helped her in the community after being presented with her Community Lifetime Achievement.

Community member Darlene Strotz was recognized with a Community Lifetime Achievement award for her work with her fire district, the Silvana Fair and the community at large.

She was given the honor at the 12th annual Community Lifetime Achievement Fundraising Breakfast on April 26.

The event recognizes an influential Arlington community member and raises funds for the Stillaguamish Senior Center.

Strotz was raised on a farm in Sisco Heights and graduated from Arlington High School in 1960. She then married Roy Strotz, a dairy farmer, and the two raised four children in the community.

"While the kids were in elementary school, Darlene started her long tradition of volunteering that went all through her life and continues today by giving hearing test and measles shots at the school," said Arlington Mayor Barbara Tolbert.

Before becoming a firefighter/EMT Strotz was involved in the Cinder-Ella's Auxiliary, which raised funds to support Snohomish County Fire District No. 19, the Silvana Fire District.

She would become an important part of the district over many decades.

"Darlene was the first woman to join Snohomish County Fire District No. 19, and retired in 2013 after 32 years," said Tolbert.

"While she was with the fire district she headed blood drives and worked on, I don't how many pancake breakfasts. She spearheaded getting the first address signs in the district so that people could find the right address of people in need," said Tolbert.

Strotz also was a part of the Arlington Fire Department for eight years as well.

In the state, Strotz has helped support dairy farms in a variety of ways. She was president of the Dairy Women for several years.

She has volunteered at both the Stanwood Fair and the Monroe Fair. For about 40 years she has been a Dairy 4-H leader with the Silvana Lads & Lassies.

Tolbert called her a "true woman leader."

She has served for many years and currently serves as treasurer on the Silvana Fair Board.

"With others, she was instrumental in establishing that beautiful Memorial Garden that honors members of the Silvana Fair Board that have passed away," said Tolbert.

In 1988 Strotz's dairy herd was purchased through a federal buyout and the family started Strotz's Country Feed.

Her husband passed away in 2012, but she continues to operate the store with the help of her grandsons.

In Arlington the Strotz family has supported many aspects of the community.

They built their own baseball field, which the local Little League uses to this day.

"Darlene mowed the grass there for over 30 years," said Tolbert.

Strotz said she was appreciative of the award. "I'd like to thank you very much for this great honor," she said.

At first she was surprised that she had been chosen for the honor.

"When George [Boulton, Arlington community member,] called me and he told me the senior center put on this breakfast for a community member and all the time he was talking to me I thought 'George is going to tell me that they gave it to him,'" she said.

The breakfast is also meant to raise funds for the local Stillaguamish Senior Center, which provides a number of services and low-income housing for seniors.

Dave Duskin, vice president of the center's board of directors, said that the center needs funding for a new bus as the previous one broke down.

Because of the United Way of Snohomish County's change in direction to focus more directly on poverty, they have some deficits in their budget as well, he said.

More information about the center can be found at stillycenter.org.

 

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