Madlyn Mae (Buchholz) Yarcho, 90 years young, a resident of the Big Lake community, passed peacefully on Saturday, June 20, 2020 at her home surrounded by loved ones.
She was on born May 27, 1930 in Clarksville, Iowa to Grace (Doty) and Otto Buchholz. She was the seventh born of nine children and she outlived them all.
She graduated from Clarksville High School and three weeks later, on June 13, 1947, she married Albert Yarcho. She fell for the tall, handsome, “older” man she had met while visiting her sister who was married to Al’s brother.
They immediately left on a honeymoon heading west and north to the Matanuska Valley in Alaska to homestead. Arriving in the Puget Sound region, they met Alaskan friends who discouraged them from continuing their venture as the post-war Alaskan economy had been hit hard.
Burlington, Washington would become their first home, followed by the purchase of land and the building of a small home on Bow Hill where they began their family with the birth of their daughter, Trudi, followed by the birth of their second daughter Sheldonna. They had in a few short years outgrown their home and were expecting their third child. Al wanted to find property with a potential for farming and on a hill above Big Lake, they found that special property and moved there in 1951. This farm would become their forever home and it would be from this home both would pass into eternity. Their third child, Bill, arrived soon after that move, followed by a fourth, Roland.
Both coming from large families, they were not content until they could continue to share their love, especially with children that did not have families. They added a whole new exciting dimension to the Yarcho clan by eventually adopting through the Holt International Adoption Agency four more children; Nancy, Darlys, John, and Angela.
Madlyn was a homemaker and mother above all else and if someone gave the impression that that was an inferior avocation, they never made that mistake again when she was finished with them.
Madlyn was an activist. In the Big Lake community she fought to save the neighborhood elementary schools when there was an attempt to consolidate the outlying schools into Sedro-Woolley in the 1970’s. She was elected to and took that fight to the Sedro-Woolley School Board.
Madlyn was a founding member of WACAP, now known as World Association for Children and Parents, matching children who needed love with families willing to give love. She was an active volunteer in the Democratic Party, she served many years as a volunteer at the Kiwanis BBQ during the Tulip Festival, was actively involved in the Big Lake Elementary PTA and its fund raisers and was involved in her sons’ scouting as a Den Mother.
History and contemporary news were Madlyn’s passion. She was a founding member of the Big Lake Historical Society and loved researching local Big Lake history and helped organize the first Big Lake Historical Exhibitions.
Madlyn accepted the Lord as her Savior as a young adult and was an active member of the First Baptist Church in Sedro-Woolley where she led Children’s Church for many years as well as serving in the Women’s Missionary Group. On occasion she would speak to other women’s Bible groups around the region.
Madlyn was the ultimate extrovert and loved to entertain, the bigger the party the better. Being very inclusive she often hosted neighborhood coffee hours and always included those new to the neighborhood so that they soon felt at home. She enjoyed sewing, quilting, crafting, collecting antiques, flower gardening, mowing her lawn and in her final year enjoyed watching the wildlife from her window to the outside with her precious dog Sadie on her lap.
Madlyn deeply loved her family and was very proud of them.
She is survived by her children and their spouses, Trudi & Jim Davis, Bill & Vicky Yarcho, Roland & Laurie Yarcho, Nancy & Greg Miller, Darlys Yeager and companion Jeff Blumenthal, Joy (Angela) & George Benjamin, and John Yarcho; son-in-law, Terry & Jill Greer; twelve grandchildren, Nathan, Jaemi, Ian, Garett, Wendy, Aaron, Sarah, Amber, Kenny, Bryan, Seanna and Danielle; twenty great-grandchildren and a dear friend and neighbor Christine Farrow. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband Albert; daughter Sheldonna Greer; grandson, Wyatt, and her eight siblings.
She lived a meaningful and vital life and although her capabilities had diminished in these last months, she continued to live with purpose and passion.
We would like to acknowledge and thank her Hospice team and her Right at Home team that took very good care of her and gave great support to her family.
A private family graveside service will held at the Sedro-Woolley Union Cemetery. We will grant Madlyn’s wish for a large party celebrating her life at such a time it is deemed safe to do so. Memorials may be made to Hospice of the NW, First Baptist Church of Sedro-Woolley, WACAP, or a charity of your choice.