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Darlene Sewell
April 8, 1936 - May 1, 2021

Darlene Sewell, 85, of Oelwein passed away Saturday May 1, 2021 at Oelwein Health Care Center.  Private funeral services will be held at the Geilenfeld-Buehner Funeral Home in Oelwein.  Interment will be in Floral Hills Memorial Gardens at Hazleton.  The memorial fund will be directed to the staff of Oelwein Health Care Center-they are angels on Earth.

Darlene was born in Strawberry Point on April 8, 1936, the third child of Walter and Velma (Jenks) Stone.  She grew up in rural Clayton and Delaware counties.  She attended rural schools near Strawberry Point.  Growing up with a farm background, Darlene was her dad’s main chore girl and loved it-from field work to milking cows.  At age 17, she fell in love with Kenneth Curtis Sewell from Oelwein and were married on May 31, 1953.  They were together for 57 years.

Darlene means “feisty” and she lived up to that description many times over the years; from dressing up like an old homeless guy as a joke to scare her daughter Beckie one Halloween to once a year changing something different in the house when Ken went to his 2-week camp in Minnesota, just to see his reaction.

Darlene kept busy with homemaking and their children Rebecca, James and Ricky Allen.  She was an awesome mom, great cook and her baking always kept family and friends coming to her table.  She fed two blocks of 4th Avenue S.E. after the tornado in Oelwein, having the only stove that still worked.

When Ken retired, they would take off in their “Great Pumpkin”, an orange Ford Pickup with a camper, and find places to fish.  Ken and Darlene managed the West Haven Senior Living for four years.  No matter where they lived, Darlene had beautiful flowers and bird feeders.  She cooked at the Knights of Columbus and the Moose Lodge.

Darlene took care of Ken through Alzheimer’s until she could not for her own health’s sake, never telling anyone how trying it was.  Darlene lost Ken in 2010 and was lost without her partner. It took four major surgeries to keep her with her family.

Darlene was a Chicago Cubs fan, with a room of Cubs memorabilia.  She created “Naughty Babies”, each with a birth certificate.  Before Ken’s decline they spent each morning drinking coffee and playing Cribbage and other card games.  She requested a double deck of cards go with her so she and Ken could play again.

Two cruel things that happened in the last year and a half that led to Darlene’s decline were dementia leading to her needing nursing home care to stay safe and COVID-19 leading to isolation from her family and she grew more alone.  Darlene is no longer lost and alone.  She is with Ken again and all those she has lost over the years.

Left to celebrate Darlene’s life are her children: Beckie (Douglas) Child of Aurora, Jim Sewell of Marshalltown and Rick (Krysta) Sewell of Aurora; her grandchildren that she said were the highlight of her life: Chris (Helene) Child, Liz (Bill McGeary) Child, Sara (Timothy) Connolly, Amanda (Chad) Berg, Curtis (Autumn) Sewell, Kimberly (Matt Swanson) Sewell, Jessica (Josh) Smith, Kaylee (Chris) Harding, Jaimie (Colton) Manchester and Kenda (Ryan Medd) Sewell; her 25 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren she said were “blessed bonuses”.    


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Shannon & Debbie Hershey on May 21, 2021 at 7:09 AM said:

So very sorry for the loss of your Mother. May she rest in peace. Sending our Sympathy to her family.
Leann Rogge Mazziotti on May 12, 2021 at 6:39 AM said:

Deepest sympathies to the Sewell family. Great memories added to memory lane made in the old neighborhood with this family. My thought and prayers are with you all.
Russell Lofte on May 10, 2021 at 2:58 AM said:

To the Sewell Family Sorry for Your Loss Our Prayers our with Your Family ! in this Time ! God Bless You all !
Robin and Bill Rosenstiel on May 6, 2021 at 8:05 AM said:

Jim and to All the Sewell Family, Sending our Deepest Sympathy for the loss of your Mother.
Mary Goedken on May 4, 2021 at 4:18 PM said:

So sorry for your loss. Oh the memories on 4th Ave. Your Moms famous cinnamon rolls and all the pranks Darlene and Kate could think of and did and Ken and Jerry would just shake their heads. Your Mom was a special lady and I have thought of her so often over the years. Beautiful words and tribute to your Mom. Love Mary
Glynis I Varney on May 4, 2021 at 11:55 AM said:

My friend & neighbor but most of all like a 2nd mom for nine wonderful years. We would sit on her patio and discuss what kind of flowers she should plant next and of course keeping her birds fed. I would sit and listen to all of her wonderful memories of her and her Kenny! She was such a joy, especially when we would sit and watch her Cubs!! What a hoot. Thank you to the wonderful Sewell family for allowing me to be a part of their fantastic family and their mom for those nine years. She will missed by many. God Bless
Linda Burney on May 4, 2021 at 10:51 AM said:

What a touching tribute to your Mom. Seems we spent most of our childhood with Uncle Kenny and Aunt Darlene at our house or yours. Our family was so close-knit and loving...Darlene was such a beautiful person. I can close my eyes and see her playing a mean game of poke. Good thing she is taking 2 decks of cards with her...Wilbert, Katie, and Grandma Sewell have been watching over her and waiting. God Bless Darlene and all the wonderful family she loved so much. She will be dearly missed. Linda Kay
Lynn Decker on May 4, 2021 at 8:28 AM said:

Beautifully-written words for a beautiful lady. Darlene will be missed by many. She certainly had a way of making me feel special whenever we talked. I hope she sends all of her family a sign of her never-ending love for them. I think she will. All my love, Lynn Marie

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Geilenfeld-Buehner Funeral Home

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