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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

What’s Inside.... C3 — Seniors take part in history by volunteering at the Lynden Pioneer Museum C4 — After decades of service, Pastor Carl Crouse is retiring C9 — State Farm Agent Dave Burns wraps up a career dedicated to helping others

A supplement of the Lynden Tribune and Ferndale Record


Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, July 28, 2021 | Ferndale Record


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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, July 28, 2021| Ferndale Record

Senior volunteers give back to Pioneer Museum

Dick Decima, pictured at the Lynden Cemetery, is chairman of the Lynden Pioneer Museum Endowment Foundation. (File photo) By Izzie Lund for the Lynden Tribune

LYNDEN — Seniors have turned to the Lynden Pioneer Museum as a way of giving to the community. “There’s just something so special about museums,” said Barbara Keily, a museum volunteer. “It fulfills what [my husband and I] like to do as volunteering and it helps the community, so it’s just something that came naturally.”  Keily and her husband, Patrick, started volunteering at the museum

eight years ago, when they first moved to Lynden from Wisconsin. Their neighbor across the street was on the board of directors for the Lynden Heritage Foundation and encouraged them to get involved. The Keilys have been volunteering ever since. The Keilys volunteer at the gift shop and admissions booth every Friday afternoon, where they greet people who come in and tell them where everything is. They have also done a lot of cleaning, fixing and building. Last year, Patrick Keily built the

People’s Bank facade building for the museum, completing all of the construction while Barbara Keily painted, stained and furnished it. Last winter, the couple also spent a few hours every Sunday cleaning and fixing anything that needed fixing. “[We would do a lot of ] cleaning, vacuuming, putting pictures up and fixing displays,” Barbara Keily said. “The exhibits are locked and everything, but they still collect dust and cobwebs, so I go in there and clean up whatever needs to be cleaned. [Patrick] repairs

anything because he’s a Mr. Fix It.” Museum volunteers do ‘a tremendous job’ Anna-Greta Boice has been involved with the museum since it was founded in 1976. “I was interested in the history of Lynden, and I was an accountant,” the 91-year-old Boice said. “I thought that I could help them with the finances and the books and whatnot, so that is how I See Museum on C4

Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, July 28, 2021 | Ferndale Record



Long-time pastor retiring end of July By Elisa Claassen For the Lynden Tribune

   SUMAS — Carl Crouse grew up in the Nooksack Valley, spent some time away from the Valley for schooling, and eventually worked as a pastor in the footsteps of his late father Earl Crouse. Now the 1979 Nooksack Valley High School (NVHS) grad is getting ready to retire – sort of – at the end of July.    Yet, with this type of job he will always be involved in the work. Just not for pay.     While many talk of changes in their industry at the time of retirement, would a pastor do the same? Actually, yes. At least this one does. His approach to his field has changed over the decades.     Growing up as a PK (pastor’s kid), he acknowledged he had no intentions of being a pastor himself. With an interest in the graphic arts, he went to college initially at Washington State University before he transferred to the University of Washington. Two key things happened: one, he decided not to continue in graphic arts, and two, he met his future wife Sally (Barker) Crouse. They married in 1983.    Crouse shared that he had talked with friends who had gone to seminary. Something resonated, and they moved to California in 1984. The two of them worked and took seminary classes for a reduced rate. They eventually interned in a pastoral role near the campus, lived through a few earthquakes, worked in a small church in San Francisco that had gone through a major problem and was just hanging on with a handful of members.      “We were willing to go anywhere (to pastor) … in the theoretical sense,” he said. He didn’t know how to grow the church in San Francisco but wanted to stay on the West Coast, other than southern California. Step by step he learned, possibly unlearned and made his way back to pastoring churches back at home in Nooksack at Nooksack Advent Christian Church (1991-2000) and then Sumas at Sumas Advent Christian Church.    Growing up with a pastor father     His late father, Rev. Forest “Earl” Crouse Jr. who died in 1996, had also See Crouse on C6

Carl Crouse preaches at the pulpit. (Courtesy photo)


Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, July 28, 2021| Ferndale Record


Museum Continued from C3

got involved.” Boice helped with the finances and then became involved in other ways after she retired.  “When I retired in the year 2000, up until that point, I wasn’t able to really take that much part in the daily doing,” Boice said. “So when I retired, I started working [weekly shifts.]”  Boice’s shifts included assisting with the gift shop and admissions. She said she has also been involved in a lot of the museum’s reenactments, which she described as really fun.  Dick Decima, chairman of the Lynden Pioneer Museum Endowment Foundation, has been involved for 17 years.  “The endowment is responsible for providing that the Lynden Pioneer Museum will be around for a long time,” Decima said. “And that is interpreted as in perpetuity, so we want the museum to be around forever.”  The endowment foundation solicits funds, invests those funds, and then donates a percentage of that money each year to the Lynden Heritage Foundation,

which is a separate foundation that operates on behalf of the museum, Decima said. The funds keep the museum open, and the money can be spent however the Heritage Foundation’s board sees fit. “I think the financial part [is the most rewarding], and what it means to the community,” Decima said.  Troy Luginbill, the museum’s director and curator, said his favorite part of the job was making new friends and getting to interact with the volunteers.  “The museum is an effort of the community,” Luginbill said. “It is the community that builds that museum, and I can say that about all of my volunteers. They do a tremendous job.”  Patrick Keily said the satisfaction of getting a job done and contributing to the community is the best part of the volunteer work.  “It’s a good feeling when you’re done for the day [and] you’ve helped the community out,” Keily said. “You’ve maintained the history of the community.” Visit for more information about the Lynden Pioneer Museum.

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, July 28, 2021 | Ferndale Record


Crouse Continued from C4

met his mother Miriam (Lobb), in their denomination’s college, then Aurora College in Illinois. He had come from the East Coast, and she had grown up in Pasadena, California with a pastor for a father. When they “got the call” to pastor the Sumas church they took the job sight unseen – although she had vaguely remembered driving through Sumas in childhood on the way to Canada and moved into an 800-square foot home by Edaleen. In 1974, they moved to a larger parsonage when he was 14.    Earl, who served for one church for his entire career from 1951 to 1995, was also a school bus driver for the Nooksack Valley School District and a lover of the great outdoors, especially Mount Baker, where he was on mountain rescue and led groups to summit the great mountain. The latter was something Carl also has enjoyed – while his Dad summited Mount Baker 47 times, Carl has 19 times (but the last was in the 1990s as the altitude became hard for him.).   

Carl and Sally Crouse in 1982. (Courtesy photo) © Adobe Stock

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, July 28, 2021| Ferndale Record

ENCORE Being a pastor: Early years to present    His Facebook, and that of the church, celebrates the love for those in the community around him, even those with “messy” lives. Between working in the Nooksack and Sumas congregations, Carl headed up the local Teens for Christ organization for several years and served as a chaplain with local funeral homes.    “As a young pastor there was so much emphasis on church growth,” he said. “The number of baptisms and membership.”     The numbers and statistics versus the relationships.     The years of being a chaplain brought a change in perspective. “I’ve come to appreciate begin a chaplain to the people, to love and care about them.”     The Sumas church gave him the “green light to go into the community.” A bit reminiscent of the “Sister Act” movies, Carl went beyond the church walls and the names of those in the church directory. “I love and care (about them) almost like a missionary.”     He thought of specific stories of the people he came to care about. One man had been addicted to heroin and alcohol, and two weeks before the man died of an overdose, he visited the man while delivering food bank boxes. They talked while he stopped.     “We see a lot of Heaven messy on earth,” he said. “Their lives may not be completed together on Earth.”     Another man, living in an RV park, shared of his faith – even in the midst of remaining addiction problems. Carl, in contrast to the early years of ministry, met these people where they were figuratively and literally. The Sumas church has also developed a Clothes Line ministry to provide for those with needs. He has been present to also be a listening See Crouse on C8

Carl Crouse leads the funeral of his mother-in-law Lucia Barker. (Courtesy photo)

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, July 28, 2021 | Ferndale Record


Crouse Continued from C7

ear. “They also need to be heard,” he said. “Our church has a stained glass window of Jesus as the Good Shepherd and I take them to just sit there (to be comforted and to talk).”    “I’ve ‘enjoyed’ funerals more than weddings of people I don’t know,” he said, of officiating. While attending the Sumas congregation, and being an elder, he had the chance to return to being a lead pastor. He is finishing up 13 years there this month.     The last few years have had funerals in his own family: September 2019 was the loss of Sally’s father Bruce Barker, her mother Lucia Barker in 2020, and his mother Miriam Crouse in May of this year. Sally also retired from her longtime job in the Whatcom County Library System office.     He has come full circle. After a COVID-19 year changed the world so much, and even more so for a pastor, he made the decision to step aside. Coronavirus didn’t allow visits he so enjoyed. “I felt so lost as a pastor … It’s about the people and their stories and investing into their lives.”     Another generation will continue. While Crouse didn’t say exactly his plans, but he will return to old projects, enjoy his three grown children and grandchildren and still plans to visit members of the congregation and the community.    Note: The Sumas Advent Christian Church is hosting a retirement open house for Carl and Sally Crouse at 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 31 at the church at 125 Front St., Sumas. It is open to the public. 

Carl Crouse circa 1987. (Courtesy photo)

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, July 28, 2021| Ferndale Record


Dave, from State Farm Longtime insurance agent retiring on July 30 By Bill Helm

   LYNDEN — Dave Burns is so serious about retirement, he’s giving away the furniture in his office.    Recently, Burns had a sign on one of the desks at his Grover Street office, a perfectly decent (yet not new) wood desk. The desk was situated in the front yard of the office he has worked out of since 1982. It’s that same desk that Burns sat atop for photographs just before this interview.    Burns started his insurance career

After four-plus decades selling insurance, longtime Lynden resident and community advocate Dave Burns will retire on July 30. (Bill Helm/Lynden Tribune)

See Dave on C10

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, July 28, 2021 | Ferndale Record

Dave Continued from C9

on Front and 5th streets, downtown Lynden. The building is now in use by Snapper Shuler Kenner (SSK) Insurance. After close to five decades in the insurance industry, Burns says good-bye to work and hello to leisure on July 30.    Growing up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Burns didn’t grow up with designs of a career as an insurance man. Wanted to be a jet pilot, that was my aspiration.    He also didn’t plan to meet his wife – a Lynden native – at Calvin College (now Calvin University).    They married, then moved back to her hometown seven years later. It’s here they planned to stay, it’s here they have stayed.    “We moved out here in 1972,” he said. “And I knew nothing about it, other than through our visits.”    It’s funny how life happens. Burns never even learned to fly. Thinking of others    Nobody would ever accuse Dave Burns of being a taker. For more than 20

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ENCORE years, Dave Burns the Insurance Man also served on city council. He also got himself involved in high school refereeing. In fact, Burns is a founding father of the girls high school officials association, back in 1978. The association served Whatcom, Skagit and Island counties, until it became part of what is now the Washington Officials Association.    “When women’s basketball came into vogue, the girls were as entitled to the sports exposure as anyone else,” he said.    As an insurance man, he also gave back to his customers. Not with free insurance, but with quality service and good information. Burns knew, intrinsically, that you can make a living just as easily by being a decent human being.    “Dave loved being an agent,” said Angelica Perez, his office manager. “Whether it was him writing letters, making calls, or giving my husband side jobs to help with financially, Dave is always there. We never asked him to help, yet he is always willing.”    About eight years ago, Perez had graduated college and was looking for employment. Nobody wanted to hire her, she said, without experience. Yet nobody would help her gain the experience she needed.    For a short time, she did work with an insurance agent. When she learned the office was to be closed, it appeared Perez would again be out of work.    “A few days after, Dave personally walks into our office as we are cleaning everything out and he comes up to me out of the other four eligible people and asks me if I am looking for work,” she said. “He introduced himself as Dave

Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, July 28, 2021| Ferndale Record the State Farm Agent across the street. I was emotional because although it was a different agent, my job was essentially the same, State Farm. Dave gave me the opportunity to give my family a better life financially, but still be able to experience life with them.” Now, Burns can also spend more time with his family.    “It’s great for him. He deserves that extra time with his family,” Perez said. “I’ve been truly blessed to work here.”    Ana Zamudio has been his customer service representative for more than a year. Zamudio also said working for Burns has been a blessing.    “I have enjoyed having conversations with him about the past, future and present,” Zamudio said. “I am grateful to have had him as my employer and to say that I too was graced by his generous personality.” Retirement    Rather nonchalantly, Burns said that on his last day, he expects to “walk out and not sell any more insurance.”    Burns has sold his office to an American Family Insurance agent, but that doesn’t mean his policies will go unmanaged or become the property of another company. Those policies will continue to be State Farm Insurance policies.    The soon-to-be-former insurance man said he looks forward to spending more time at the family’s Birch Bay cabin.    “It’s the nicest, quietest relaxing atmosphere we could ask for,” Burns said. “We’ll be spending time there, and we enjoy traveling. Perhaps we’ll take a road trip or two.”

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