Renton Senior Activity Center renamed in honor of longtime civic leader
Don Persson served the community for 53 years as a police officer and member of the city council.
The Renton Seniors Activity Center was renamed Sept. 10 in honor of civic leader Don Persson, who served the Renton community for 53 years.
The unveiling ceremony took place after a barbecue attended by family, friends and many current and former city officials.
“It is only fitting that we name the senior center after Don,” Mayor Armondo Pavone said during the ceremony. “Caring for our seniors has always been at the top of his to-do list. He was an exceptional defender, giving generously of his time and talents.
One of those things to do was the annual Thanksgiving dinner for seniors, where for twenty-six years Persson was the driving force behind the event that brought camaraderie and food to countless guests at the center that carries now his name.
His daughter, Lisa Berreth, spoke of her father’s humor and family love.
“He was an incredible father, grandfather and husband, who spoiled us enormously. He taught me to laugh really hard and often, to believe in myself and to know that there was nothing I wanted. couldn’t do. He loved us unconditionally, and the world was a better place because he was in it,” Berreth said.
Former Renton Mayor Denis Law remembered his longtime friend’s sense of community.
“Commitment to community service was in Don’s DNA. He was always thinking about what we could do as individuals and what the city could do to improve the quality of life for our residents. He has dedicated his life to serving this community,” Law said.
Persson, formerly named Renton Chamber’s Citizen of the Year, was a founding board member of Renton River Days, Renton Regional Fire Authority and Communities In Schools Board, and a board member of Renton Rotary. He helped create the city’s neighborhood program and provided food and other resources to ensure the success of the REACH Center of Hope.
Persson’s 53 years included 33 years with the Renton Police Department and 20 as a member of the Renton City Council. He retired from the board in December 2019. Persson died in October 2021.