DARLENE BERNICE DEGROAT was born on July 15, 1950, to Julius and Sara Van Nevel in Marshall, Minnesota. She was baptized at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Marshall. Darlene was raised on a dairy farm near Russell, Minnesota along with her nine siblings. She graduated from Russell High School in 1968 and later, furthered her education at Minnesota West Community and Technical College in Pipestone, Minnesota studying computers and accounting. In 1969, Darlene married Dave DeGroat at St. Dionysius Catholic Church in Tyler, Minnesota and the couple made their home on the farm on Highway 91. Darlene maintained the home while Dave raised sheep and trucked. In 1985, Darlene moved to Balaton, Minnesota with her seven children. She began her career at the Colonial Manor where she went on to work for 23 years prior to her retirement in 2011. She was proud of her work as a Union Stewart Representative at the nursing home for 15 years. On Saturday, March 28, 2020, Darlene passed away at the Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center in Marshall at the age of 69 years, eight months, and 13 days.
Darlene enjoyed visiting Trinity Lutheran Church in Balaton with her family and often referred to “God’s plan” in times of uncertainty. She treasured the time spent with her family and grandchildren, who will always miss hearing her catch phrase “What’s with that?” Darlene was a collector of all things and could be lovingly classified as an organized hoarder. She could often be found puttzing or gardening and truly enjoyed her flowers, as well as canning and cooking. The wonderful food she made, including freshly baked buns, is surely a part of her legacy, but she will also be remembered for her big heart. Darlene was a genuinely kind, giving person who cared deeply about helping others.
Darlene is remembered by her children, Bruce (Mary) DeGroat of Balaton, Keith DeGroat of Marshall, Amy (Bill) Murcek of Papillon, Nebraska, Denise (Joe) Reith) of Fulda, Minnesota, Jason DeGroat of Russell, Sandra (Chad) Jensen of Balaton, and Jennifer (Daniel) Fernholz of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota; 12 grandchildren, Sara and Morgan DeGroat, Rachel and Alexis Whited, Hope (Tyson) DeKam, Claire and Lincoln Reith, Wyatt, Bailey, and Mia DeGroat, and Hannah and Alivia Jensen; great-granddaughter, Elenoire DeKam; and siblings, Gene Van Nevel, Irene Hudspeth, Kathy Lozinski, Julie Daniels, Charlie Van Nevel, Pam Parker, and Daniel Van Nevel. She was preceded in death by her parents, Sara and Julius and her brothers, Jim and David Van Nevel.
*Due to current guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Minnesota Executive “Stay at Home” Order, ceremonies for Darlene will be held at a later date. Please consider sharing a thought, memory, or photo here on Darlene’s Tribute Wall or reaching out to her family directly. Your words of comfort and support are very appreciated during this difficult time.
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