This week’s sweep is to honor a legend, a Windermere legend. Loretta Larson passed away on Tuesday. Loretta was Windermere Ballard’s manager of 30+ years. She created the culture that exists today in that office. She imparted deep wisdom. She mentored hundreds. She passed on knowledge to many of us. She made careers happen. She could beat any of us in poker. She forever lives within all of us, as we carry on as her Windermere family. I hope you will find time to read these four stories in tribute to a superwoman!
A Tribute to Loretta Larson x’s 4…
“I was having a bad day. I can’t remember why I was unhappy, but I can clearly remember what Loretta did that day. I plastered on my best smile and strode by Loretta’s office on my way to the Ballard resource room to visit with the agents. I put on a good show hanging out with the wonderful crew that Loretta had assembled and no one remotely suspected that I was having a dreadful day. Then on my way out, Loretta called me in to her office, had me close the door and, with a gentle yet piercing look, asked me, “are you ok?”. Watching me walk by her office from 20 feet away, she knew something was amiss. With tears welling up, I shared what was going on and she just listened and said how sorry she was that I was going through such a tough time. I learned then that you couldn’t keep a secret from Loretta. But then why would you want to keep a secret from someone so wise, caring and intelligent?” – The “Tell” – from THE Dan Givens
“I first met Loretta one afternoon in April 2003 as I was dropping off an offer to Greg Stamolis. It was in the newly opened Windermere office. Greg took my offer and said have you met Loretta? Loretta stepped forward, shook my hand and didn’t let go. “Do you have a minute?” she asked cheerily. I followed her into her office. She was wearing a blue flowing gown with stars on it—like a wizard’s robe. Her red curly hair was back lit with the afternoon sun shining in the windows behind her and seemingly radiating from her. I was mesmerized. She proceeded to say words like “ family, community, sharing and helping” (instead of shark, barracuda, top dog & 800 pound gorilla). She had a lovely smile. I was lulled. And then the close: “So, when would you like to join our family?” I said: “How about now?”
And the rest is history! Loretta transformed my life with her invitation of love.
I know she has done this for many of my associates too. I am forever grateful and will always remember & love her.
P.S. Loretta denied ever owning the described dress, but Greg Stamolis will corroborate my story—and the wizard gown.” – broker, Mary Durkan
“Loretta was one of the first Windermere managers I got to know after joining Demco Law Firm way back in the day. She would have me out to office meetings once in awhile to present on a current topic and do Q&A with the agents (they weren’t yet called “brokers” back then!). She was someone who truly helped me to “get my feet wet” in the industry when I was still just but a grasshopper, and I am grateful to her for having offered me those opportunities for professional development and relationship building. RIP Loretta, you will be missed.” – attorney, DAVID DANIEL
“Over 4 years ago I when I was hired to manage the wonderful WRE Ballard office, I was replacing a retiring legend who’s shoes I can never fill (although she said “Darlene, I only wear a 5.5, you’ll be find!”. Loretta built this amazing office over 30 years ago. Everyone who is a part of this team receives benefit of what she created in all of us…we pass it down. I was fortunate to be mentored by her and I am forever grateful of the knowledge she passed onto me. Her knowledge was so very vast that I wish I would have recorded her words, she always knew what to say. I owe my career to her, she is a legend and her memory will live on in all of us.” – manager, Darlene Sozinho
Thank you Loretta Larson for your superpowers & wizardly ways in loving, caring, empathy, wisdom and that never forgotten smile. May we all impart her walk in those 5.5 sized shoes on some level as a tribute to a Windermere legend! I know I will.
Laura Smith, Co-owner | Windermere Real Estate Co.
Ballard + Eastlake + Madison Park + Northgate + Sand Point + Wedgwood