Roberta Marie Larsen, 87
Aug. 8, 1936 — Aug. 13, 2023
Beloved mother, wife, friend, advocate and supporter of the arts.
Born on Aug. 8, 1936, at the house of Dr. Blackwell on Sherman Avenue, Roberta grew up in the home of her grandparents Richard and Iverina Rasmussen on Cougar Bay, Lake Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
She attended Renton High School where she made lifelong friends.
She graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in english and a Professional Education Certificate.
She taught at West Valley High School in Yakima where she met her husband, David Larsen.
They moved to Bellevue, Wash., and raised their their children, Ward, Christine and Ross.
Every year, they would spend the summer at the lake.
Roberta later worked for the Issaquah School District in Human Resources until retirement when she returned to North Idaho with David to live on Cougar Bay.
Roberta was exceptionally active in the Coeur d’Alene and Kootenai County community.
Over the years, she served on the boards of the Cd’A Public Library Foundation, Spokane Public Radio, Cd’A Summer Theater, Friends of Head Start, Arts & Culture Alliance, Opera Cd’A, and Art on the Green Artists’ and Writers’ Workshop.
In addition, she was a member of Planned Parenthood, Kootenai Environmental Alliance; Idaho Nonprofit Center; Kootenai Democratic Women’s Caucus; League of Women Voters; American Civil Liberties Union; and the Alumni Association of the University of Washington.
In recent years she was most active with the Coeur d’Alene Arts & Culture Alliance contributing her efforts in supporting or sponsoring programs like Music for the Wise, ArtWalk, the Riverstone Concert Series and the Artist Studio Tour.
She also served on the Coeur d’Alene Arts Commission for two terms helping in the selection of public artworks for the city.
In 2011, she received the Mayor’s Awards in the Arts award for “Support of the Arts” and was the posthumous recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2023.
She was well known for her love of a good party and most especially a party for a cause.
Over the years, she and David hosted countless events, fundraisers, and celebrations at their home.
A member of several informal social clubs, she was proud to belong to groups like Laundry Night, Women’s Gift Alliance and others dedicated to supporting arts and community.
Roberta filled her life with books, music, film, opera, food, wine, friends and family.
Charming, kind and with an acerbic wit, she was a loyal friend, a beloved mother and nan, and an advocate whose support and influence were felt by many.
A lifelong dog lover, Roberta shared her life with a number of canine friends, most recently Otis, a rescue from the Kootenai Humane Society.
Roberta passed away peacefully at home on Cougar Bay.
Preceded in death by her husband, David Larsen, in 2021, she is survived by her son, Ward Larsen, and wife Pam Brown (Arizona), daughter Christine Larsen and grandson Lionel (Seattle), and son Ross Larsen and wife Molly Larsen and grandsons Maxwell and Theo (Colorado); and her dog, Otis.
No service is planned. Donations in her memory can be made to the Kootenai Humane Society, Coeur d’Alene Arts & Culture Alliance, Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho.