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Obituary for Darlene Marie Betts
Darlene Betts, 93, passed away on Sunday, April 2, 2017 at the Heritage House in Atlantic. Celebration of Life Service will be at 11 AM on Thursday, April 20th at the Adair United Methodist Church. Luncheon will follow the service in the church hall. Online condolences may be left at www.johnsonfamilyfuneralhome.com.
A long-time Adair resident, Darlene was born April 20, 1923 at Guide Rock, NE, to Lorin and Ethel Fairfield. Darlene spent most of her childhood in Nebraska before moving to Iowa in 1938. She graduated from Adair High School in 1941, reigned as Miss Adair, and later moved to Washington DC where she contributed to the war effort by working at the American Red Cross.
On June 7, 1943, she married Don Betts in Chicago, IL, where she worked a government job at the Merchandise Mart. After Don's discharge from the Naval Air Base in Jacksonville, FL during World War II, they moved to Stuart, IA.
In 1948 they made their home in Adair where Betts and Beer Construction Company was formed. Don and Darlene retired in 1980 and moved to the independent apartments at Heritage House in Atlantic in the fall of 2007. They celebrated 65 years of marriage in 2008.
In addition to holding government jobs during the war, Darlene was a volunteer advocate for senior citizens under Governor Robert Ray. She served for 20 years as a volunteer in the nursery at the Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen, TX where she and Don spent many years as snowbirds.
Their Texas life resulted in countless new friendships, and Don and Darlene continued to entertain visiting daughters, sons-in-law, and other relatives and friends from many states.
One of Darlene's passions was painting. To that end, she attended weekly classes in Harlingen and became quite talented, offering up her works to each daughter and grandchild, among others.
Darlene was a lifetime member of the Adair Methodist Church, where she taught Sunday School and held various offices.
Her family will forever remember the fun reunions and gatherings at Lake Panorama and the thrills and screams of kids catching fish, swimming and splashing, water skiing and tubing.
She loved to dance, square dance, play cards, tell jokes, and entertain friends and family, with Don always at her side. Grama Darlene had a ready smile for everyone, donut holes and hugs for the grandkids, and a keen sense of humor.
She leaves an indelible mark, a boatload of memories and a great big smile to all that were lucky enough to know and love her.
Darlene is survived by her daughters, Darla (John) Martin of Anita, IA, Patti (Duane) Avey of Sun City, AZ, Vicki (Alan) Taylor of Rocklin, CA, and Teresa Noland of Adair, IA; her grandchildren, Joe Avey, Eric (Andrea) Martin, Matt (Lisa) Avey, Mike (Aimee) Noland, Jason (Sharon) Martin, Danny Avey, Cristi Taylor, Heather (Jeff) Shutters, and Niki (Devon) Dawson; and 18 great grandchildren; sister-in-law, Betty Betts of Guthrie Center, IA; and numerous nieces, nephews, and friends.
She is preceded in death by her husband, her parents; brothers Dean, Mel, Dale; sister, Helen, son-in-law, Merlyn (Slugger) Noland, and great-granddaughter, Jade Sierra Moss.