Retired librarian’s service to be first of many

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story reported the wrong date for Linda McPherson’s memorial. The Herald apologizes for any inconvenience.

DARRINGTON — The time to formally honor and remember people killed in the Oso slide begins next Saturday with a memorial service for Linda McPherson.

McPherson, 69, was a retired branch manager of the Darrington Library and a longtime Darrington School Board member. Her memorial service will be at 1 p.m. April 5 in the Darrington Community Center, 570 Sauk Ave., the town’s hub and gathering place.

A week ago today, the Oso mudslide claimed McPherson’s life and killed many others. The disaster destroyed the home on the south side of Highway 530 that McPherson shared with her husband of nearly 45 years. Her husband, Gary “Mac” McPherson, was injured in the disaster but is out of the hospital.

McPherson retired from the Sno-Isle Libraries branch in 2011 after 28 years as a librarian in Darrington. She served on the Darrington School Board nearly 19 years, part of that time as board president. She retired from the board in 2007.

Born in Arlington Jan. 6, 1945, to George and Ethel Mahlum, Linda Mahlum was a hometown girl in Darrington. After graduation from Darrington High School, she earned a bachelor’s degree in oceanography from the University of Washington. She and Gary McPherson were married Oct. 17, 1969, in Arlington.

She worked for a decade as an oceanographer. The couple returned to Darrington to raise a daughter and a son.

At Weller Funeral Home in Arlington, office manager Carrie Stuckey said Friday that McPherson’s service is the first of many that will happen in coming weeks. “People have been contacting us to begin to prepare, but other services are not scheduled yet,” Stuckey said.

Jeanne Crisp, of Mukilteo, wrote on a memorial website that she worked with McPherson several years ago when the Darrington Library was expanded.

“She brought to the project so many skills, such talent and knowledge. And she cared so deeply that the library would be a comfortable place for the community and for the staff,” Crisp said. “I hope everyone has a chance to sit in the library’s meeting room, look out the big glass windows at the mountains and think of Linda’s many good works.”

Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460;

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