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Originally published Thursday, September 17, 2009 at 12:13 AM

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Obituary | Former Seattle councilman Wayne Larkin, 82, dies

Former Seattle City Councilman Wayne D. Larkin, who also had served as a city police officer and firefighter, died on Sept. 3 after a brief illness. A memorial service was held Tuesday.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Former Seattle City Councilman Wayne D. Larkin had a career in public service that spanned three decades — eight years as a nonpartisan council member, five as a Seattle firefighter, and 17 as a Seattle police officer — before he ever graduated from high school.

The Tacoma-born Mr. Larkin left Seattle's Roosevelt High School in 1944, at age 17, to join the U.S. Coast Guard and serve two years on troop transports to Australia, India, New Guinea, The Philippines and Japan.

It was not until he was 75 that he took advantage of a new state law that entitled veterans to receive high-school diplomas. His wife, Ronna Larkin, did the paperwork, and just before Christmas 2002 he received his diploma from Roosevelt administrators.

He was elated, said his wife.

"Not having the diploma was a burr under my saddle," he told a local newspaper columnist at the time.

Mr. Larkin, 82, died on Sept. 3 at Swedish Medical Center on First Hill after a brief illness. A memorial service was held on Tuesday.

After his Coast Guard service, Mr. Larkin joined the Fire Department in 1947, assigned to Station 17 in downtown Seattle. Five years later, he completed a Seattle Police Department training program and became a patrol officer in downtown Seattle — and later a detective in auto theft, intelligence, narcotics and vice.

As a police officer, Mr. Larkin was elected president of the Seattle Police Officers' Guild and served as vice president of the Washington Council of Police Officers.

In 1969, he was elected to a vacant seat on the Seattle City Council. He served two four-year terms, chairing the council's intergovernmental relations, utilities and public-safety committees.

"He possessed the unique ability to bring people together, reach consensus and foster change," said his wife. She said Mr. Larkin collaborated with Fire Chief Gordon Vickery to develop Seattle's 911 Medic One system, a first of its kind in the nation.

Mr. Larkin was a past president of the Association of Washington Cities.

He gave up his council seat to run unsuccessfully for mayor in 1977. He later worked with a Northwest development company that built housing in Barrow, Alaska.

Mr. Larkin had a passion for boating and fishing, said his sister, Melody Mociulski, of Bainbridge Island. He was a Queen City Yacht Club life member and past board chairman.

Besides his wife of 31 years, and his sister, Mr. Larkin is survived by daughters Valerie Sullivan, of Montesano, Grays Harbor County, and Denise Brumpton, of Edmonds; and his son, Wayne Larkin, of Oregon. Also surviving are a brother, David Larkin, of Nevada; 11 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.

Memorials may be made to Medic One, Seattle Fire Dept., 301 Second Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98104.

Charles E. Brown: 206-464-2206 or

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