Longtime Shoreline resident and Paramount School Park walker dies at 101

Friday, August 24, 2018

Sara Erickson 1916-2018
100th birthday
Sara Erickson passed away at her home in Shoreline after a short illness, at the age of 101. Sara was well known at the Paramount School Park where she walked three miles a day in all weather, except snow and ice.

Sara was born in 1916 on the prairie of Kerrobert, Saskatchewan. She was the second child born to Scottish parents, Donald and Katherine Grant MacDonald. They lived on the family homestead for a couple of years until sister Ellen was about 2 years old. Life on the prairie was cold and difficult.

In 1917, the family moved to Bellingham, Washington, where Sara’s mother had been a school teacher. They purchased a small farm and settled in Laurel, just halfway between Bellingham and
Lynden. Their life revolved around family, neighbors, friends and work on the farm. Sara often commented that their life was similar to the popular TV show “The Waltons”.

Sara Erickson and daughter Rita Clark
at a garden tour in 2017
Sara and “John Boy” graduated from High School in 1934. Both Sara and her sister Ellen graduated from the Bellingham Normal School with Teaching certificates. After several years of teaching, both Ellen and Sara married and had two children each.

In 1958, Sara’s husband, Ralph Hackett, was diagnosed with tuberculosis and was sent to the Firland Sanatorium in Shoreline. After three years as a patient, Ralph was discharged and offered a full-time job, in the machine shop at Firlands, where they manufactured parts for Boeing.

Sara obtained a job at the University of Washington Library system’s Catalog Division where she worked until retirement in 1982. Ralph passed away in 1973 after complications from his tuberculosis.

Upon retirement, Sara enjoyed traveling, gardening, family and friends. She especially enjoyed ballroom dancing at all of the local Senior Centers. She met her second husband, Carl Erickson, at the Senior Center dances. They married in 1997 when she was 80 and he was 85. He passed away in 2002.

Sara Erickson walking in Paramount School Park
Sara was always active and had walked her dog on the sidewalks of Shoreline, but when the Paramount School Park opened she felt it was a safer and easier place to walk.

She became a fixture and was easily recognized by her Tilley hat. As Sara aged and began to slow her walking, she could be found resting on a bench and visiting with the many friends that she made through the years.

If she had two words of advice to everyone, it would be to “Keep walking”.  It’s good for body and soul.


Missy,  August 24, 2018 at 11:14 AM  

Sara was unfailingly kind and upbeat - - she was a bright light in the park, no matter the weather or the goings on of the world. She brought a smile to so many people, and a tail-wag to so many dogs. The park will always have a little of Sara's spirit residing in it. Thank you for the article about her life. We are lucky to have crossed paths with her in this big world.

Anonymous,  August 24, 2018 at 2:28 PM  

She always gave me a smile when we passed at the park -

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