Burien/White Center Rotary Honors Founding Member Walt Carsten

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by Ralph Nichols

Rotarian extraordinaire Walt Carsten received a standing ovation at the Sept. 16 Burien/White Center Rotary Club meeting when Deputy Mayor Rose Clark presented him with a city proclamation recognizing his decades of community service.

Then, as if that wasn’t enough already, Carsten received the ultimate honor. John Matthews, Rotary’s district governor, proclaimed him president emeritus “because your life exemplifies more than anyone the qualities of service and character” of Rotary.

Carsten has been a Rotarian for 56 years. He was a charter member of the Burien/White Center Club in 1954, served as its president in 1968-69, and now is the last of the founders.

He and his wife, Joyce, live at the Judson Park Retirement Community in Des Moines.

Before the meeting, at which he was guest of honor, began, Carsten told The B-Town Blog about his years of volunteer activities that “I got far more out of it than what I put in.”

He is especially proud of his years with the Hi-Liners, with whom he was a director and pianist, and their involvement with international student exchanges.

“We had a minimum of 15 from all over the world that stayed with us,” he recalled.

Carsten, whose academic degrees include a doctorate, served as principal at two Highline elementary schools, a junior high school and Evergreen High School.

Highline School Board member Bernie Dorsey said at the meeting that Carston is an example of the idea that “evidence of our existence may lie in the spirit of our actions.”

He noted that the school board will honor Carston with a certificate of contribution at its Sept. 29 meeting.

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