Darlene A. Schlegel
Hays - Darlene A. Schlegel – age 93, former Hays, Kansas resident was born, Darlene Alberta Brack on January 17, 1928 to George G. and Leah V. (Rodie) Brack of Otis, Kansas and went to be with her Lord on Friday, June 11, 2021, at the age of 93. Darlene welcomed two younger sisters, Fern and Rachel; and a brother, George "Butch" into the family. She remained in close contact with her siblings until their deaths. She had fond memories of helping in her parents' grocery store when she was a girl. In 1945, Darlene graduated from Otis Rural High School. After the end of WW II, a handsome Mr. Carl Schlegel returned from the war to Otis where they met and fell in love. Their first date was in a borrowed car where she had to sit on an apple crate. That made no difference. They married on June 9, 1946, and established residence at Carl's family farm near Otis, Kansas. They raised cattle and chickens, sold milk and cream in Otis, and planted large gardens as well as raising crops of wheat and milo.
In 1949, Carl and Darlene started a family with the birth of Marcus Carl on June 9. Carl got so excited when Darlene went into labor that he left his tractor running. Fortunately, a neighbor passing by noticed and shut it down. On December 29, 1953, a second son, Kurt Lynn, was born, completing their family. Carl got a job at the Otis Helium Plant and Darlene was a homemaker. In June, 1959, Carl was promoted to be Superintendent of the new helium plant at Keyes, Oklahoma where he worked until he retired. As her sons got older, Darlene pursued a career in nursing. She attended Licensed Vocational Nursing school in Dumas, Texas and received her LVN license, graduating at the top of her class. She started her career at Cimarron Memorial Hospital in Boise City and worked for Dr. J. L. Wheeler.
After Carl's retirement in 1977, they moved to Broken Arrow, Oklahoma to be closer to their grandson, Kevin and son Mark. Darlene continued her nursing career at St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa. Carl's allergies could not tolerate the humid climate in Tulsa, so the couple moved to a drier climate in Guymon, Oklahoma where Darlene especially enjoyed spending time with her sister, Fern and family.
Darlene & Carl loved to travel, and they dragged a 5th wheel trailer all over the US. They especially loved fishing trips to Colorado. Darlene would fry up rainbow trout fresh from the lakes, and, when the catch was abundant, she canned trout and made trout patties back home. Darlene was always busy with handwork—crochet, knitting, or embroidery. She made placemats, sweaters, scarves, tea towels, and much more. She even made caps for premature infants and donated them to hospitals in her 80's and 90's. She always loved gardening, both flowers and vegetables. She was a wonderful cook and enjoyed entertaining family and friends. Darlene was a talented oil painter, and her works hang in homes across several states. Grandson Kevin spent many summers and holiday breaks with Darlene and Carl. They took him along on many trips and rather thought of him as their "third son". Darlene and Carl shared their married life with two very special dogs, Lady, in Otis, and Princess, in Keyes and Guymon.
In 1995, they moved from Guymon to Aurora, Colorado, close to Kurt and their favorite fishing lakes. They enjoyed Colorado, but in 2003, they moved "back home" to Hays, Kansas. They had many relatives and friends still living in the area and made many new friends in Hays. When Carl's health deteriorated, the couple moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma to be closer to Mark and his wife, Judy. In December, 2013, Carl passed away. Darlene lived independently at the Prairie Rose retirement community in Tulsa, then moved with Mark and Judy to central Oklahoma where she resided at Town Village in Oklahoma City.
Darlene was a very social person and made close friends everywhere she lived. She will be missed by many. Darlene was preceded in death by her husband, of 67 years, Carl; her parents, George and Leah Brack of Otis; her sisters, Fern Gackstatter of Guymon; and Rachel Hergert of Marshfield, Wisconsin; and her brother Butch of Medina Lake, Texas.
Darlene is survived by her son, Mark and wife Judy of Edmond, Oklahoma; her son, Kurt of Aurora, Colorado; grandson, Kevin and wife Lindsay; and two great grand-children, Anton and Raelynn of Carrollton, Texas.
Services will be held at 1:00 P.M. Saturday, June 19, at Cline's-Keithley Mortuary of Hays, 1919 E. 22nd Street, Hays, Kansas 67601 with Rev. Rocco Mallardi officiating. Burial will be at 3:00 P.M. Saturday, at The Otis Methodist Cemetery, Otis, Kansas.
Visitation will be from 12:00 to 1:00 P.M. Saturday, at the mortuary. In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorials to: The Salvation Army or to any charity of your choice payable to the organization in care of mortuary.
Published on June 15, 2021