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Idaho Enterprise

Volunteers of the Year Award: Dotty Evanson, Roxanne Albretsen, and Carla Williams

This year’s Volunteers of the Year were the force behind preserving the historic Co-op Building as the landmark of downtown Malad. The restoration of the Co-op has a long way to go before many dreams and aspirations for the building are realized, but without Dotty Evanson, Roxanne Albretsen, and Carla Williams, the restoration of the Co-op likely would have never begun.

Dotty Thorpe Evanson’s passion for preserving the Co-op made her volunteer to be the Chair of the Co-op Restoration Committee. She was able to organize troops of Malad volunteers to clean out decades of old merchandise and trash from the building’s three levels. Her right-hand helpers were her sister Roxanne Thorpe Albretsen and her friend Carla Goddard Williams. These three women made possible the vision of turning the oldest department store in the state of Idaho into future City Offices, a community meeting room, maybe an art gallery, and commercial space. Already the building has started to be used for such events as the Oneida Quilters annual show and Art on Main.

Dotty Evanson was born and raised in Malad and has lived here her entire life except when at BYU, where she met her future husband Brent, and when she served with Brent when he was the Mission President for the Macon Georgia Mission. She taught elementary school for many years until she became the principal of Malad Elementary School.  Besides her service to over a generation of elementary students and teachers, Dotty served on the Oneida Education Foundation and as Stake Relief Society President and is currently on the Oneida Pioneer Museum Board and is the Co-Chair of the Malad Valley Welsh Festival. She and Brent have four sons (Brett, Brandon, Bo, and Brad) and currently have Brett and his two daughters (Hadley and Elle) with them after the passing of Brett’s wife Shannon.

Roxanne Albretson was born and raised in Malad and has lived here her entire life except when attending cosmetology school.  She and her husband Shawn were high school sweethearts, and she has been Shawn’s right-hand aide on many of his creative woodworking projects, including the Malad Valley Welsh Festival’s Bard’s Chair. She has served on the Oneida County Hospital Foundation as chair, as secretary of the Oneida County Airport Board, as a Relief Society and Sunday School teacher, and as Secretary/Treasurer and Chair over vendors for the Malad Valley Welsh Festival. She is the Accounts Payable Administrator for Hess Pumice Products. She and Shawn have three sons (Quade, Chase, and Keeton).

Carla Williams also was born and raised in Malad and has lived here for her entire life. She worked for 38 years as the Administrative Assistant for Oneida School District back in the day when the District Office had just three employees. Carla’s bookkeeping and secretarial skills are legendary. Carla has served for 23 years as secretary of the Malad Women’s Bowling Association and is an avid bowler herself. She has always been one of the top bowlers in the Malad Women’s Association and you see her name often as the highest scratch game or series and very often as the Women’s Association yearly highest scratch average. She chaired Malad’s Junior Miss program the year it won an Idaho State Junior Miss Best Program Award and went with past chairman, Joan Hawkins, to Mobile, Alabama, in 1987 to receive that award. As an accomplished organist, Carla has played for funerals since she was in high school and has served as the organist in her ward and as the stake organist.  She has three children (Don, Dirk, and Megan).

These three women epitomize the volunteer spirit of Malad.