Lillian Aked Yatvin graduated from UW-Madison in 1985 with a BS in Sociology Education. She received an MSW in 1987. Involved throughout her life with helping other people, she always knew she wanted to be a social worker. Lillian found her true vocation and voice in social work, bringing her strong spirit to her work for others.
Lillian was a dedicated social worker for the West Madison Senior Coalition, helping older adults remain independent for as long as possible. She particularly enjoyed working with older people when she could successfully help them remain in their homes with all the resources and services they needed. Her life outside of work also reflected her devotion to helping other people, and she regularly volunteered.
A strong-willed individual, Lillian would stand up for what she believed was right. When she found out her daughter’s preschool was using harsh chemicals to clean the floors and furniture, she and other parents paraded in front of the building to protest the use of chemicals that could harm children. At home, Lillian created a natural Wisconsin prairie in her backyard, and afterward became an avid gardener. She also had a strong sense of humor. When people asked why she wanted to work with older adults, she would say, “Because they can’t outrun me when I make them angry.”
Sadly, Lillian passed away in 2004 at the age of 46. During her illness, Lillian continued to practice social work for as long as she could, believing her own experience with illness grew her compassion as a caregiver. Professor Milton and Dr. Joanne Yatvin established the Lillian Aked Yatvin Scholarship Fund in memory of their daughter, to provide support for students in the School of Social Work, particularly those with an interest or commitment to working with elderly individuals.