Arla M. Crosier

February 21, 1935November 29, 2018
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Arla Mae Crosier passed away peacefully with family by her side on November 29, 2018. She was born February 21, 1935 in North Platte, Nebraska to Roy and Angela Christopherson. She had two younger brothers, Gary and Lionel. Her fathers’ job moved the family often as she grew up and they lived in at least 13 different places until finally settling permanently in Yakima. Arla attended Franklin Middle School and graduated from Yakima High. After high school, she attended Yakima Valley College for two years and then graduated from Central University with a Bachelor’s degree in Education and a minor in Music. Arla met her husband Ellwood while attending YVCC. They were in Psychology class together and sat next to each other since their last names both began with “C”. Ellwood noticed Arla the first day and thought she looked really classy. They passed notes back and forth for weeks, and finally, after checking to see if he was taller than her (just barely), he asked her to go to the Winter Formal. After he transferred to the University of Washington and she to CWU, they worked hard to keep their relationship strong by writing letters and visiting each other whenever possible. Her senior year he proposed to her, she said yes, and that began a marriage that lasted 61 years! Arla often commented that “being married to Ellwood was never boring!”

She taught one year at Cashmere Elementary and five years at Madison Elementary in Yakima, all of which she loved. Once she had children of her own, she became a stay-at-home mom, but could never have been considered idle. She managed Residential Fruit Stand (which she and Ellwood operated for 56 years!), Christmas tree lots, Crosier Orchards, and The Magic Kitchen. She taught Sunday School at Central Lutheran church, cooking with middle school students, but her favorite was “Preschool” with her grandchildren. She taught healthy, informative, and always entertaining classes at The Magic Kitchen. She had learned a lot about cooking and healthy eating over the years and she relished giving that knowledge to others. One of her favorite classes each year was her Norwegian class. She enjoyed sharing her Norwegian heritage through various Scandinavian recipes including her favorite, lefse. Sometimes however, her daughter had to step in since she would always start the class with a toast of Aquivit, a Norwegian liquor.

Community was also very important to her. She organized annual parties for her neighbors, fruit stand employees and Ellwood's many basketball teams. She served on the East Valley School Board for 8 years both as a member and as president, played clarinet in the Yakima Community Band, started a La Leche League group for nursing mothers, was a leader in 4-H, and participated in Junior League. She helped create new clubs with friends like “The Classy Ladies” and the “O.H.S.” (which shall remain anonymous to protect surviving members).

Travel was what Arla most loved to do in her "spare" time. She went on several cruises with Ellwood to Europe, Hawaii, the Caribbean, and Russia, a safari in Africa, met cousins in Norway, many areas of the US (often to visit friends and family), and 9 trips to Alaska. Her favorite place to visit was North Dakota where she had many relatives. She was game for anything -- if someone was willing to join her, off she went! Who knew how fun it could be to mush on a dog sled and ride an elephant?

While Arla was involved in many activities, her family was her most important priority. She was the best Mom. She was loving, supportive and fun, but also tough when needed, often employing creative methods of discipline. A favorite memory was when her daughters and nephews said they were “fed up and we are leaving!” As they marched out with some snacks and a bag of toys, she watched them walk down the lane, stop to eat their snack, and then march back up the lane. She never said a word about it.

Arla was committed to making her family's life rich and healthy. She worked hard to provide homemade meals and baked honey-wheat bread for her children's school lunches (it can now be revealed that sandwiches made with said bread were often traded for Ding Dongs, Twinkies, and other such 'illegal' in-the-Crosier-household items). She hosted many family dinners (No reading at the table!), parties galore, and placed great importance on family traditions. Her family will always treasure the individualized Christmas stockings she lovingly made for her kids, their spouses and her grandchildren. She spent many hours documenting family memories as well as her many trips around the world.

Arla was a great role model! She treated people with kindness, used wisdom and humor when interacting with others, had a strong work ethic which helped her achieve her goals, and always did the right thing even, when it wasn’t easy. Arla was very welcoming over the years and had many other “children” live in her house. Her children appreciated that she was always available to share her wisdom and perspective with thoughtfulness and diplomacy.

While she was a person known by many names: Arla, Mom, AC, Mrs. C, and The Bread Lady, the most important and joyful to her was Grandma. She loved spending time with her six grandchildren and getting to know their unique personalities. She would stop anything she was doing to read, play, cook, and snuggle with them. She developed deep relationships with her grandchildren and often cared for them while their parents were working. She cherished her grandchildren and they each knew it.

Arla will be greatly missed by her husband Ellwood, children; Marlan (Julie), Jenell (Aaron), and Lanette (Craig). Grandchildren; Kaden, Joren, Teegan, Jace, Devin, and Lucas. Her brother Lionel (Mary), and many treasured relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, Roy and Angela, and her brother Gary.

A Funeral service and reception will be held at Central Lutheran Church, 1604 W. Yakima Avenue, Yakima, 98902 at 2:00 PM on Sunday, December 9. A private graveside burial will be Monday, December 10 at West Hills Memorial Park. There will be a time of visitation on Saturday, December 8, 12-5 pm at Keith and Keith Funeral Home, 902 W. Yakima Avenue, Yakima.

Memorial donations may be made in memory of Arla to the American Stroke Association ( To share a memory of Arla or express condolences, please visit


  • Arla is survived by her husband Ellwood, children; Marlan (Julie), Jenell (Aaron), and Lanette (Craig). Grandchildren; Kaden, Joren, Teegan, Jace, Devin, and Lucas. Her brother Lionel (Mary), and many treasured relatives and friends.

    She was preceded in death by her parents, Roy and Angela, and her brother Gary.

  • Kaden Hooper
  • Tyron Christopherson
  • Marlon Crosier
  • Ron Shepard
  • Aaron McCausland
  • Craig Hooper
  • Dale Brown, Honorary
  • Lionel Christopherson, Honorary
  • Brad Boardman, Honorary
  • Glenn Rassmussen, Honorary
  • Stan Christopherson, Honorary
  • James Early, Honorary
  • David Jones, Honorary



  • Visitation Saturday, December 8, 2018
  • Funeral Service Sunday, December 9, 2018


  • Private Graveside Service

Arla M. Crosier

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Jenell Crosier

December 12, 2018

A little treasure my mom gave me over the years was how she signed notes and cards - “Love, just love, Mom”

Lanette Hooper

December 11, 2018

One of my favorite things I would do with my mom when I was little was go run errands with her. That may sound boring but those errands always included a treat of some kind. Sometimes we ended up at the mall and the reward was Chocolate Covered Peanut Clusters! Jackpot!
I was never grounded when I was growing up but there were consequences for bad choices. For example, I was a little ornery in school at times and my mom actually sat at my lunch table or in the classroom to check on things. I thought it was hysterical but her plan always worked and I would change my ways.
Probably the best lesson I learned from my mom is to put others' needs first. That is hard to do sometimes but she lived that way herself. I am real proud to be her daughter and love hearing how she touched people's lives in so many different ways. Please continue to share stories and memories about my mom.

Sheri Close-Rue

December 7, 2018

Mom, Dad, Loren, Jeff, and I were so sorry to hear of Arla’s passing. Her sense of humor, commitment to family and community, and strong work ethic were guiding forces in my growing up. She had high expectations of me working in the fruit stand but also made it fun. My best memory was sitting at a YVCC basketball game with her. She dared me to pour ice down a guys pants who was sitting in front of us- she said if I did it, she’d do it too. Well, guess who was the one who got caught and the one who sat like an angel looking at me like, really Sheri? It’s one of my favorite Arla stories.
She made a difference, she will be missed dearly. With love, Sheri

Donna Gilbery

December 5, 2018

So sorry to read of Arla's passing.
Many happy times together, especially making lefse.
Hugs to all, Donna


Arla and her mother Angela.


Arla and her mother Angela.