Arlene Engel marks 90th year Saturday

Arlene Engel, longtime champion for the rights of seniors and persons with mental illnesses, celebrates her 90th birthday Saturday, April 17.

Friends and family will host an open house from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Dominion Terrace clubhouse, 1301 S. Third Ave., Sequim, the retirement community she and her husband partnered to design and develop in 1971. She was administrator of the 60-bed Dominion Healthcare nursing home.

Engel has lived 41 years in Clallam County, 69 in Washington.

The party will include a slide presentation of what Engel calls "a wonderful life."

Besides advocating for the National Alliance on Mental Illness and serving as Clallam County NAMI executive board president since 1990, Engel serves as an elected commissioner of Public Hospital District 2, the governmental entity of Olympic Medical Center. She was re-elected to the position three years ago. Her third term will expire when she is 96.

Engel also served two years on the Sequim City Council, 16 years on the city planning commission, helped found the Museum and Arts Center of Sequim-Dungeness and helped start the Clallam Transit System.

Other posts included the Clallam County Human Services Coordinating Committee, Washington State Administrative Code Condominium Law Rewrite Committee, Clallam-Jefferson Health Planning Committee, Olympic Area Agency on Aging, Sequim Nutritional Site Development Committee, Lifeline founding committee, state Mental Health Advisory Board, state Rehabilitation Diversity Committee, Peninsula Regional Support Network, Peninsula Regional Quality Review Team, state Quality Review Oversight Committee, Washington Administrative Code Mental Health Law Rewrite Committee, Governor's Disability Initiative Advisory Committee, Western State Hospital Advisory Board and President's Committee on Unemployment.

Engel currently serves on the Committee to End Homelessness in Clallam County and with the CARE Partnership.

Her awards include Clallam County Citizen of the Year 1992, Washington State Behavioral Healthcare Hero 2003, Clallam County Red Cross Hero 2004 and Clallam County Public Healthcare Hero for Lifetime Achievement 2009.

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