Darlene Helen Vawser was born on October 15, 1932 in Colome, South Dakota greeted by her loving parents, Raymond and Helen Eckstaine. On January 30, 2013, after touching so many people’s lives with her positive attitude and love for all those around her, she gave her last warming smile, and left us to begin the next great journey.
Darlene was the second of two children and spoke so often about the fond memories of her happy childhood with her parents and older brother Lloyd. She always made it sound like she lived a fairy tale life even though they grew up in very tough economic times. She remembered fondly her early childhood on the family farm; adopting chickens and sheep as pets, getting lost in cornfields, snows that would cover the house, tornados that forced them to the fruit cellar, and always going barefoot in the South Dakota clay after rainstorms. She attended school in Colome, making life-long friends and graduating as salutatorian. In a journal she kept, she spoke often of a red-headed boy that started walking her home at the age of 14. After high school, she attended cosmetology school in Sioux Falls, SD. While there, she received a letter from that red-headed boy, asking for her hand in marriage. Mom and Dad (Robert Vawser) were married on May 12, 1951, at Ft. Carson, Colorado. They shared a love beyond time; truly cherishing each-other through good times and bad. Once Dad completed his military service, they moved to Dallas, South Dakota. It was here that they began a family with Judy (Jeff) Braegger, Ron (Sarah) Vawser, Linda (Russ) Farnworth, and Tim (Debbie) Vawser. They farmed for many years, until 1967 when they moved to Kimberly, Idaho. Mom and Dad followed the their dreams while in Idaho, expanding their family with James (Jessie) Vawser, moving to new places and jobs, and always being there for their kids and each other. They eventually settled in American Falls and that’s where they enjoyed retirement together; gardening, baking bread, and hosting countless family get-togethers. Through 54 years of marriage, they met together everything life threw at them, until Dad passed away in 2005. Mom continued to concentrate on her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. She loved being with family and friends and we all loved being with her.
Mom loved to sew; making her own clothes when young, mending what they had when raising their children, and finally making blankets and pajamas for her grandchildren. She had a passion for piano, and tried at several times in her life to learn to play. She dedicated her life to her family; always maintaining her home, canning fruit and vegetables, and creating wonderful meals. She was diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis at 45, and battled its crippling effects for nearly forty years. Mom taught each of us the meaning of true strength, courage, and faith. She never complained; when we knew she was feeling her worst, she would smile and say, “Oh, I’m ok, how are you kids doing?”. She always put her family first and gave us all everything she could of herself. Mom is survived by her children, twelve grand-children, fifteen great grand-children, and countless others who were a part of her life. There is no greater love than to sacrifice yourself for another; Mom did this for each of us, always more concerned with us rather than herself. That was even more apparent the past few weeks with her children, grand-children, great grand-children, friends, and adopted family at the Spring Creek Manor stopping in to convey how much they loved her. We had no idea how many lives she had touched and our family wants you all to know how much we appreciate the love and care you showed her.
In respect of Mom’s wishes, a public service will not be held. Her family will gather together at a later date to honor her memory as she wished. In lieu of flowers the family requests that anyone wishing to do so forward donations to Spring Creek Manor, 605 Hillcrest, American Falls designated for residents in need of comfort care.
We love you Mom and will always hold a place for you in our hearts. We hope you’re dancing with Dad, running barefoot through the grass, and smiling with joy from your beautiful soul.
Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy Go, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” Deuteronomy 31:6