June 19, 1932 - October 15, 2021
Darlene J Anderson, 89, was guided Home into the loving embrace of Jesus Christ, her Lord and Savior, on October 15, 2021 after a 10-year valiant battle with Alzheimer's Disease, in Plymouth MN. A celebration of her life will be held on Saturday, November 6 at St Philip The Deacon Lutheran Church 17205 County Rd 6, Plymouth, MN at 10:30 am. A live streaming of the service will be offered at spdlc.org/livestream for those not able to attend. Visitation is one hour before the service at the church with lunch to follow. Memorials are preferred to the Alzheimer's Association, Gladys's Place in Plymouth, MN and Brighton Hospice in St Louis Park, MN, or to the donor's choice. Darlene (Grandma Dar) was born in Minneapolis, MN on June 19,1932 to Gladys and John Fretter. She was baptized and confirmed at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, graduated from Roosevelt Highschool in1950 and received her Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from the University of MN in 1954. She married John S Anderson but later divorced. Darlene taught several years at Morris Park Elementary School in Minneapolis before moving to Mankato in 1960 where she raised her 3 daughters, Julie (Mike) Braun, Jayne (David) Long and Jill (Marvin) Augustin. She was a charter member of Christ The King Lutheran Church, taught church school, sang in the choir, attended Bible Study, Hilltoppers for Seniors and served on many church boards. Darlene taught first grade at Washington Elementary School for 33 years, retiring in 1997. She was president of the Mankato Area Retired Education Association, and also a member of both the MN and National Retired Education Associations, PEO Chapter "U", and Immanuel St Joseph's Hospital Auxiliary. She was highly respected by her professional peers, the community, and was often requested as the teacher of choice by many parents of incoming first graders, yet she remained steadfast and humble, graciously giving credit for every accomplishment to God. Darlene lived a life of selfless-service, humility and prayer. First to her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and then to her family, friends and community. Her larger-than-life loving embrace extended to all of God's creatures, even spiders and snakes. She was fearless and strong. Always eager to share a brilliant smile, cheerful words of encouragement, inspiration and support, Dar was there with an open-heart, listening ear, earnest prayer and a homemade pan of Dolly Bars. She was genuinely interested in the lives of others and reached out in loving kindness to all who were broken-hearted, offering safe respite along with a fresh kleenex she kept tucked in her sleeve. She had the gift of making you feel good just by being in her presence, even after Alzheimer's had taken away her ability to communicate. In 1981, while working through her own grief and loss, Darlene knew that reaching out to help those with similar experiences would bring healing to herself and others. So, for many years she facilitated Rainbows for God's Children, and Beginning Experiences, programs designed to help children and adults overcome the grief of losing a parent or loved one through death or divorce. She never missed a breakfast with God, strengthening her spiritual connection through daily morning devotions and strengthening her body with a daily 45-minute power walk-rain, snow or shine. She closed each day with prayers of gratitude and a bowl of ice-cream and chocolate sauce with peanuts on top. Her calendar was jam-packed with volunteer commitments, and she was often spotted zipping across town, perched on a cushion for extra height, behind the wheel of her meticulously clean, sporty little Sebring, no doubt praying for greenlights, on her way to lend a hand at the American Red Cross, The Summit Center, Faith In Action, Vine, ESL classes or to visit a friend in the hospital, or long-term care facility. With a fanny pack cinched around her waist, and camera hanging from her neck, Darlene trotted the globe relishing adventures in far-reaching places, exploring other cultures, meeting new friends and reveling in God's spectacular creation. Her greatest earthly joy was her family, and with bright smiles and giant hugs, Mom loved us all, unconditionally. She was devoted to her 3 daughters and adored her son-in-laws. Whenever we encountered life challenges, she listened intently with compassion, wrapped us in her loving arms, and told us to "pray about it." Her seven grandchildren Olivia, Maddie, Cora, Andrew, Will, Jacob and Mackenzie were the light of her life. She connected deeply with each child, recognizing, embracing and encouraging what was special and unique about each one of them. Her home was a playground of glitter and games, art projects, activity centers, and homemade treats. She loved celebrating their lives, capturing the precious and fleeting moments as they grew, proudly displaying their smiling faces in a wall-to-wall collection of framed photos. She hustled to track meets, ball games, dance recitals and choir concerts. She was truly unique in her heartfelt devotion to her family. In truth, she slipped away from us slowly, we watched her go. Every painful step over the course of 10 years. Our hearts hurt with an indescribable pain over such an injustice. How could our extraordinary, remarkable mother who had lived a life of dedication to goodness, a woman who always held others in her heart, while standing firm in her unwavering faith in Jesus, be lost in this manner? God's plan for our Mom was complex. There was certainly more to it than we will ever fully comprehend. But what we do know is that this illness gave Mom the opportunity to stop. To slow down. To rest. After a lifetime of selflessly giving to others, we were now gifted with the opportunity to care for her. In doing so, we experienced yet another dimension of love and connection with our mom. We found comfort and healing in the deeper purpose that giving service to her added to our lives. In her final years, it was our honor to be there for her ensuring that her days were meaningful and she had the best possible care. We know that if her heart could tell a story. If it could ever sing a song. If she gave a testimony, she would want you to know that Jesus loves her! His faithful hand has held her all this way. She would want her children and grandchildren to remember that her love for them is endless and now she has found her treasure and joy in Heaven with Jesus. She is finally Home where she belongs.
Darlene J Anderson, 89, was guided Home into the loving embrace of Jesus Christ, her Lord and Savior, on October 15, 2021 after a 10-year valiant battle with Alzheimer's Disease, in Plymouth MN. A celebration of her life will be held on... View Obituary & Service Information
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