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Darlene Kay Walker Sommerfeld

Darlene Kay Walker Sommerfeld

Jul 31, 2023

Darlene Kay Walker Sommerfeld - Obituary


arlene Kay Walker Sommerfeld, a most extraordinary woman, passed July 31 after a feisty battle with dementia. Born in Altoona, Wisconsin in 1939 to Cecil and Nerissa (Flick) Walker, she lived a joyous life filled with laughter, intent, and service to others. She guided her family to live lives of purpose and meaning, teaching us the value of hard work and the importance of contributing to our community. Our family had a front-row seat to an amazing love story that began when Darlene first laid eyes on Dale at a county fair when she was twelve. She pretended to be lost so Dale, a boy scout, could “find” her. They never looked back and they’ve been together ever since, celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary this year. She was vastly proud of the life and family they created together. Celebrating her legacy are her loving husband, Dale; their children Collin (Trish) Sommerfeld and Amy (Todd) Rawlings; their grandchildren Mallory (Brandon) Jenkins, Brittany (Dennis) Waldron, Aaron (Megan) Foscue, and Kacie (Hunter) Edwards; and their great-grandchildren Mariah, Isaac, Nathan, Micah, Zoey, Lucas, and Ava. As a young bride, Darlene worked Dale’s way through college as a telephone operator and extended her career to include medical receptionist, bookkeeper, and legal secretary. Together they served our country for more than 20 years. Darlene was in church on Sundays; the first on her feet when the National or Air Force anthems were played; the first to arrive with a casserole; she shared her talents by singing in the church choir wherever she was stationed; volunteering for any bake sale, as a scout leader, with the PTA, at church, and the parks and recreation center; she held the kind of celebrations people marked their calendars for; her home was a hub for her children’s friends; and, with her well-known attention to detail, was fastidious about the direction of the vacuum marks in her shag carpeting in the ‘70s. She was most fulfilled through her work helping those in need with Ecumenical Ministries where in addition to food bank and bill paying services, she also orchestrated a Christmas Sharing program organizing volunteers to ensure hundreds of children over the years received toys at Christmas. She created memories at family dinners, vacations in tents and campers, holidays and birthday parties, and around the table playing family games. She’ll be remembered for always intuitively knowing where and when she was needed, never being too busy to answer the request of a child, her love of traveling, her taste for chocolate martinis, and the way her smile made her dimples show. She instilled a love of learning, dedication to compassionate service, and an appreciation of a good book that trickles through all branches of our family tree. Our family extends our thanks to her caregivers – we are profoundly grateful for their compassionate and loving care; they were truly an extension of the family. Her family suggests donations in Darlene’s memory be made to the Alzheimer’s Association. A memorial service is planned for a later date.