Darlene De Jong was the fifth of seven children of Henry M. and Anna (Van Oenen) De Jong. Darlene was born on May 5, 1947, at Pella, Iowa with many physical and mental challenges. She grew up on a dairy and produce farm with her brothers and sisters. Her mother gave tender care and love to Darlene as long as she was able. Darlene was then served by the Christian Opportunity Center in Pella for many years. The Eastview group home was her “home.” She loved her COC friends and was a great encourager and appreciator of the many staff members who always made her days special. They loved and cared for her in ways above expectations. She was a faithful attendee at the sheltered workshop at COC’s main building. Going to the main building and greeting everyone there was her daily goal.
Darlene had a simple faith, a sincere belief in and love for Jesus. She participated in and loved Friendship Bible Hour. She could recite Psalm 23, her favorite passage. No song was unfamiliar to Darlene. She loved children’s songs, any and all hymns, rock and roll oldies, country western music, and was a big fan of Andy Williams and Lawrence Welk. At one time she was able to travel with her mom and family members to Branson, Missouri and met Andy Williams in person. Darlene loved her brothers and sisters and enjoyed weekly visits with each one of them. She especially loved young children and babies. She will be deeply missed by her family who were all involved in her care.
Darlene passed away early Wednesday morning, January 9, 2013, at the Hospice of Pella Comfort House in Pella at the age of 65 years. Darlene suffered from Congestive Heart Failure.
She was a member of the First Christian Reformed Church in Pella.
Those surviving her are her siblings: Howard and Dorothy (Slings) De Jong of Pella, Judy A. and Otto Vos of Pella, Janice and Adrian Uitermarkt of Albia,Iowa, Paul and Marlene (Moes) De Jong of Pella, Carolyn and Louis Vanderwilt of Des Moines, Iowa, Esther and John De Moss of Lacona Iowa; and nieces and nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Henry and Anna De Jong; her maternal grandparents, Henry and Sientje (Wouterse) Van Oenen; and her paternal grandparents, Dirk and Hattie (Jansen) De Jong.
Funeral services were held on Saturday, January 12, 2013 at the First Christian Reformed Church in Pella. Arrangements were handled by Van Dyk – Duven Funeral Home.