Darlene L. Hendrickson, 94, passed away peacefully on March 15, 2019 surrounded by her loving family. She was born on November 19, 1924 to Orren “Pat” and Nellie Stow Ross. She attended Garden Prairie grade school and graduated from Belvidere High School in 1941. Darlene married Ronald C. Hendrickson on June 10, 1947. Ron retired as Garden Prairie Postmaster a few years before his death on April 30, 1986.
Darlene worked at the Chrysler Assembly Plant in Belvidere, IL for many years in the accounting department until retiring in 1980. It was a pretty impressive position for a woman in those days and she received several awards for her accomplishments including a wonderful memory-filled trip to Las Vegas that she shared with her family!
Darlene has been a life-long member of the Garden Prairie United Church of Christ where she loved serving in so many ways. She was a member of several of the women’s circles, baked countless turkeys for Thanksgiving dinners and actually shared responsibility for music with Clara Miller and Verna Sisson beginning in high school! She started first as a pianist and then as organist when the very first church organ was purchased in 1948. She continued as organist until she was in her 70’s!
Darlene was active in the Belvidere Women’s Club, Silver Belles singing group and loved to gather with the BHS Class of ‘41 Breakfast Club. She had a serious penchant for online solitaire and in her day utilized her computer with great finesse often teaching her family easier ways to navigate the world-wide web. She always kept busy with reading, crocheting, and machine knitting.. Since retiring, she was able to travel, visiting Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Alaska the Caribbean and Columbia, S.A. Her greatest joy though has always been visiting and spending time with her six beautiful grandchildren!
Darlene is survived by two daughters, Kay Wych and her husband Brad of Huntley, IL and Rhonda Sypek and her husband John of Canton, OH. She leaves 6 cherished grandchildren, Karina Stahl and husband Kevin, Sadie, Kirby, Alexis, Elle and Jack and 2 beautiful great-grand children, Emily and Erik Stahl. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Ronald C. Hendrickson and her brother, Forrest Melby.
Darlene also leaves behind her precious cousin, Marge Gorham who resides in Genoa, IL and a dear sister-in-law, Ruby Hendrickson who lives in Belvidere, IL.
A celebration of Darlene’s life will be held at the place she called home, the Garden Prairie United Church of Christ, 10990 Hwy 20, Garden Prairie, IL 61038. The service will be at 12:00 p.m. Saturday, March 23, 2019. Visitation will be from 10:00 a.m. until 11:45 a.m. Saturday, March 23, at the church. Burial will follow at the Garden Prairie Cemetery.
The family is especially grateful to the staff at Northwoods Care Center and Comfort Keepers of Rockford for their care and compassion. And a special note of gratitude to those at OSF Hospice Care who loved our mom so very well alongside us. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Garden Prairie United Church of Christ, POB 68, Garden Prairie, IL 61008. To light a candle or share a condolence, please visit www.AndersonFCS.com.