Darlene Louise Klatt, 86, of Cedar Falls and formerly of Oelwein passed away peacefully on Monday, April 6, 2020, at Allen Hospital in Waterloo.
A celebration of life which will include lunch and a round of golf to commemorate Darlene will be held at a later date. Expressions of sympathy and memorials may be sent to Howard Klatt, 5018 S Main St Apt 29, Cedar Falls, IA 50613-7489.
Darlene was born on December 18, 1933, in Cherokee, IA to Louis and Olive Larson. She was raised on an acreage west of Cherokee and attended country school through the 6th grade until starting 7th grade at the junior high. Unbeknownst to Darlene, her classmate Howard Klatt would become her future husband, and this was just the beginning of their love story. When the couple first met they became friends and maintained their friendship throughout school.
Darlene attended and graduated from the Iowa State Teachers College (now the University of Northern Iowa). After graduation she moved to Algona and taught 6th grade. Howard joined the United States Air Force and was stationed in Mississippi and in November of 1954 wrote a letter to Darlene. Their relationship grew with letters back and forth until July when they spent his leave together and became officially engaged. The couple maintained a long distance relationship for the next year while Darlene taught 6th grade in Storm Lake. On June 17, 1956, they were united in marriage at the Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Cherokee. Darlene became an Air Force wife and the couple resided in Alpena, Michigan and later Detroit, where their first son Tim was born. In the summer of 1958 they moved back to Cherokee after Howard was discharged from the Air Force and later moving to Cedar Falls so he could finish his teaching degree at Iowa State Teachers College. Children Dan and Terri were born and then the family moved to Oelwein in 1961 after Howard accepted a teaching position. Darlene and Howard were residents of Oelwein from 1961 until fall of 2017 when they moved to the Western Home in Cedar Falls.
Darlene taught special education at Wings Park Elementary School for 20 years. She was a wonderful teacher but also an extremely hard worker and in addition to teaching worked various part time jobs. She also taught adult basic education classes in the evenings for 10 years. Howard and Darlene had four more children after moving to Oelwein: Deb, Mike, Marc and Kelly. Taking care of her family was the upmost importance to Darlene. She was a very active mother and made sure to be in attendance of all 7 kid’s activities and that extended to later in life when she made sure to be present for her grandchildren’s activities. She really enjoyed sports; especially golf and watching the Iowa Hawkeyes. Darlene was very fond of “games” and very organized when it came to compiling games at family gatherings (often making up her own).
Darlene’s competitive side really shined through when it came to golf. She was on a golf league for numerous years and really enjoyed playing golf up into her 80’s. Golf was a common love with Darlene and Howard; that love of golf was passed onto their children and their families.
Darlene was an avid reader and also enjoyed writing. She was a member of the OWLS writing club for many years. Darlene never forgot to send out birthday/holiday cards and those will be cherished and missed. She was a member of the Christ United Presbyterian Church and very involved in church activities and teaching Sunday school. Darlene had an incredibly strong faith that she openly shared.
Darlene had so much unconditional love. She genuinely cared about the happiness of others and really just loved laughing and hearing laughter. She was the matriarch of her family and the glue that kept everyone together because all she ever wanted was for everyone to get along. She had a heart of gold and will always be remembered for the love, support, and joy she brought into this world.
Those left to cherish her memory include her husband of 64 years in June, Howard Klatt; children: Tim (Cindy) Klatt, Dan (Sandi Tokheim Barry) Klatt, Mike (Amy) Klatt, Terri (Kevin) Makinster, Deb (Al) Price and Marc (Vickie) Klatt; son-in-law, Darrin Amundson; 27 grandchildren; 6 great-grandchildren and one on the way; brother, Roger (Cheryl) Larson; sister-in-law, Lois Klatt and extended family and many friends.
She was reunited in heaven with her youngest daughter, Kelly Amundson; parents Louis and Olive Larson; in-laws, Howard (Evelyn) Klatt; sister, Janet Sivinski and brother-in- law, Bob Klatt.