Lemley Chapel
Serving Sedro-Woolley &
All of Skagit County Since 1935
1008 Third Street
Sedro-Woolley, WA
Madlyn Yarcho Memorial
Madlyn Yarcho Memorial

Madlyn Yarcho

Madlyn Yarcho

Wednesday, June 24th, 2020

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.




  • Debbie Maxwell

    To the Yarcho Family,

    Your mother is remembered fondly. My family’s prayers for peace and comfort are with you.

    With warm regards,
    Debbie Maxwell

  • Mari Nelson

    Thanks to Madlyn, we were blessed with our children Staci and Cody and then blessed with Kami and Laci to our extended family. So fortunate to have known Madlyn. She brought joy to us that we would never have known otherwise. We need more Madlyns in the world.

  • Terry and Jill Greer

    Terry’s first wife was Madlyn’s 2nd daughter, Sheldonna. Madlyn met me with open arms and “adopted” me into her extended family when Terry and I married in 2011. Her love was ever expanding, and her whole families’ acceptance added a wonderful new dimension to our life🥰👍❤️

  • ginger reinhardt

    With a heavy heart I will miss my dearest friend and all those antique stores and lunches in La Connor will never be the same. Madlyn always was up for lending a helping hand and one day called me that she needed my help to rescue two cats the owner died that morning and his sister had called Madlyn for help to get the cats and find them homes. Madlyn and I spent three hours crawling around that small trailer looking everywhere for those two cats Madlyn and I just could not believe they could hid so well in such a small area but we finally found them. I feel so fortunate to have had Madlyn in my life and I will miss her dearly.

  • Joline Wilson

    To the Yarcho Family, Madeline has been such an inspiration to the Big Lake Community for all my childhood. She definitely touched my life in so many ways as a child in Big Lake. Nancy, I send me true love and condolences to all of you. Heaven has definitely received an Angel.

  • Paulette Talley

    Madlyn was like a second mother to my husband Dennis since he grew up in Big Lake and was friends with Roland. After we moved to Stanwood in the late 70s we would often pick up Madlyn on our way to church at 1st Baptist in Sedro Woolley. When Dennis passed in 2013 the tradition continued with me picking her up. She was quick to say that I had inherited her to which I replied she had adopted me! Words of wisdom from Madlyn were not to be in a hurry to get remarried because most available men over a certain age were looking for a nurse or a purse!

  • Mary Alice Grobins

    I did not personally know Madlyn, but reading about her life compelled me to tell you how much I appreciate her work with WACAP. We adopted a Korean baby in 1982 and she is the light of my life – and for many years we attended lots of WACAP family activities in Olympia. I wish I had known that the founder was right here in Mount Vernon – she sounds like a wonderful woman and one I would have loved to meet. My condolences to her family.

  • Christine Farrow

    Spring, summer, and fall Madlyn would rise before dawn ,bundle up against the chill, make a pot of coffee and walk out to the road to get her newspaper. She would wait for the day to welcome her on her back porch as she drank her hot coffee and read the paper.
    One morning not long after we moved to Big Lake, Madlyn called me just after 6 AM even knowing that I would probably have only gone to bed a few hours earlier. “ Come right now! Bring your camera!“ We hadn’t lived here long but I knew enough to come when she called. I got there as fast as I could.
    “What’s up?”
    “Look at my Calla lily.”
    Tucked inside the lily was a tiny frog, trying very hard not to be noticed.
    “Take a picture, then sit awhile and have coffee.”
    I did that morning and many mornings afterward.
    Her fiercely loyal friendship will be deeply missed by me and by the many she leaves behind. If you were loved by Madlyn, you knew it and you will cherish the knowledge forever.