Sponsor Spotlight – Row House

Eminem to the Bee Gees: A Space for Intergenerational Exchange

At the crack of dawn, the corner of Oregon and 42nd comes to life. Walking down from nearby apartments and arriving by car and bike from across West Seattle, people enter Row House ready to have a great start to their day. Music ranging from Eminem to the Bee Gees thumps as instructions and words of encouragement fill the air. Rowers work up a sweat and heartbeats elevate. Something else happens: 20-year-olds find themselves rowing alongside members in their 60s, 70s and 80s. This intergenerational exchange is an example of what makes great communities thrive.

Row House opened in the fall of 2019 down the street from the Senior Center. In those pre-pandemic months, it was focused on one thing: building an inclusive, supportive community where people can work out together, pursue their health goals and have some fun. With stay-at-home orders and mandated gym closures, the staff at Row House needed to get creative when COVID hit. Outdoor rowing was born and their community and its reach continued to grow.

Our friends at Row House are more than neighbors— they are tremendous supporters of West Seattle’s senior community. Boasting a membership that is at least half members aged 55+, Row House has worked hard to craft a community where everyone feels like barriers don’t exist.

Row House has supported the Senior Center of West Seattle directly by becoming a corporate sponsor and helping us with cross-promotion to its members. We are grateful to have neighbors like Row House that are so aligned in our mission of promoting health and inclusion for seniors.



Meet John Llewellyn

John wanted to be an attorney since he was a kid. He made that dream come true, but it was quite a journey getting there!

John studied pre-law at Green River Community College, WSU and UW. After he was drafted in 1972 and came back with a bit of an ‘attitude’ as he says, he paused his legal studies. Instead, he became a chemist and worked in quality control and microbiology for Rainier Brewery. Once the novelty of free beer wore off, he got bored with the repetition of the job and decided to become a science teacher.

He taught science at Ingraham high school until several Seattle schools closed in the 1970s forcing John out of a job. He pivoted again, using his early computer knowledge to get an interview with King County. He walked into the county’s room that housed three new IBM 286 computers, and nobody knew what to do with them, except him! His career with King County spanned 16 years.

It was in 1999 that a dispute with a neighbor over a boundary line led him back to law – click for more of John’s story.



Meet Fran Zickes

Saturdays are a great day to shop! Especially because you will get to meet Fran! Fran Zickes has been working in our thrift shop for 13 years – and will happily give you exceptional service with a smile! Fran started at the Senior Center working in the Café. She did that for about 6 months before she moved to the shop which she found to be more fun! Fran was retired, and wanted to find something to do with her time – and her husband was volunteering here for Meals On Wheels and roped her in too!

She has worked with 2 shop Managers before Aylene (our current Manager). Fran says Aylene is wonderful to work with; she is so supportive, so dedicated and truly a pleasure to work with. The irony is, that Aylene would use these same words to describe working with Fran. Above all, Fran’s favorite part of volunteering in the shop, is the customers, “I learn a lot from them” she says. Fran loves seeing all the donations – she says she’s not a shopper, but when she shops, it’s at the Stop N’ Shop! “Most of my wardrobe is from here,” says Fran.

Fran was working as a Flight Attendant in 1970, when she was transferred from Chicago to Seattle – click for more of Fran’s story.


Happy 2022!

Our 2022 Resolutions

The clock has struck midnight. 2022 is starting to take shape and 2021 is in the rearview mirror. From all of us here at the Senior Center of West Seattle, we wish you a happy and healthy new year filled with friends, laughter, learning, and growth.

As we consider the new year, we have so much in store for our members. In the spirit of transition, this has us considering some resolutions of our own. If you will indulge us, we would love to share some with you.

  • Celebrating the end of COVID and hopefully a life without masks!
  • New programming including options to gather with friends to sing and dance
  • A full slate of Rainbow Bingo events
  • Volunteers of all ages helping to shape this community
  • Social workers that continue to help guide seniors on their aging journey
  • Record sales for our Stop ‘N Shop Thrift Store