Darlene Parkes

Obituary of Darlene Parkes

Darlene Martha Martinson Parkes (nee Kohlen) January 8th, 1930 – June 4th, 2024

With great sadness, we mourn the loss of Darlene Martha Martinson Parkes (nee Kohlen) at the age of ninety-four.

Darlene was the eldest of seven children, born to Theodore and Beatrice Kohlen. She was born January 8th, 1930, in Annaheim, Saskatchewan during the depression. She was born at home with her grandmother’s, a midwife, assistance.

The family lived in Saskatchewan, farming, and homesteading, until World War II. Farming was difficult then, so they moved to Fort Erie, Ontario, where her parents found work in an airplane factory. Darlene stayed home and babysat her siblings.

They returned to Saskatchewan after the war, and as a teenager, Darlene worked in the family café until they returned to farming once again.

When she was nineteen, a handsome farmer named Clarence Martinson convinced a friend and a cousin to bring her to a country dance so that he could meet her. She married her true love on November 8th, 1949. They lived in Rose Valley, Saskatchewan, close to the Martinson family farm. There, the first two of their children were born, Darrel followed by Clarice.

In the mid 1950’s, they moved to Prince George, British Columbia where Clarence found work at the experimental farm. The rest of their children were born there: Gene, Beatrice, Ardith, Ardin, and Olene.

Clarence passed away suddenly in August 1970 from a heart attack. Darlene moved with her five youngest children to Quesnel, BC, where her parents and some of her siblings had relocated.

In 1974, she met Bernard Parkes, and they were married on March 31st, 1975. He was a brave bachelor who took on the role of helping her raise the youngest of her large family. They had thirtyeight happy years together until Bernie passed away in March 2013.

Darlene was a talented homemaker and enjoyed crocheting and knitting. We were always kept warm with mittens on our hands and afghans on all the beds. She loved to garden, and you could always find geraniums on her doorstep. We always had delicious homecooked meals from the vegetables she grew. She was well known for her baking skills, especially her homemade bread.

A devout Catholic all her life, her faith kept her strong as she endured many hardships in her life. She was a longtime member of the Catholic Women’s League and the Legion of Mary.

Later in life, her memories faded as she battled Alzheimer’s Disease. But she recognized her children to the end.

Predeceased by her parents, her husbands Clarence and Bernard, brother Jerome, sister Doris, son Darrel, daughter Clarice, and grand-daughter Andrea. She is survived and deeply missed by many. Her brothers Allen, Ted (Josie), David (Christine), her sister Edna (Denis), and her sister-in-law Esther. Her sons Gene (Bonnie), and Ardin (Corinna). Her daughters Beatrice, Ardith, Olene (Art), and daughter-in-law Marcia. She will be missed by twenty-two grandchildren, thirty-one great grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews and their children.

A heartfelt thank you to Dunrovin Park Lodge for their care over the last years of her life.

In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Alzheimer's Society of BC or the Heart and Stroke Foundation would be appreciated by the family.

A viewing will be held the evening of June 28th at Clayton’s Funeral Chapel in Quesnel.

A funeral will be held at St. Ann’s Catholic Church on June 29th at 11AM followed by a tea in the hall.

Later she will be interred in the Prince George Cemetery with her husband Clarence.

“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, for I will give you rest.” - Matthew 11:28

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