She was born in Park Rapids, MN on September 1, 1934, one of four daughters to Joseph and Rose (Jansen) Conner. On August 12, 1956, she married Richard Graves at Trinity Church in Hartley, IA. They lived in Cedar Falls, IA until 1958 when they moved to Waukegan, IL. They lived there for 22 years, moving first to Twin Lakes, WI and later settling in Waupaca. Darlene was active at Trinity Lutheran Church, where she served on council for three years, worked as a preschool teacher, was a member of the Sunshine Club, a money counter, and part of the nursery committee. She delivered Meals on Wheels and worked for 18 years for Waupaca schools before retiring.
Survivors include a son, David Graves of CO and a daughter, Diane (Peter) Cypher of Sun Prairie; daughters-in-law, Joyce Graves of Appleton and Rachel Fulkerson of Minneapolis, MN; grandchildren: Allison Graves (special friend, Ronald Cashaw Jr.), Emma Graves, Simon Graves and Maddie Cypher; and great-grandsons, Kenneth Fossum and Byron Cashaw. Darlene was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Richard; son, Daniel; infant granddaughter, Tatterly; and three sisters: Minnie Peifer, Lois Schwien and Joyce West.
The funeral service will be held at 6 p.m. Friday, March 17, 2017 at Trinity Lutheran Church with Pastor Andy Behrendt officiating. Visitation will be held from 4 p.m. until the time of the service. Burial will take place in the spring at Lakeside Memorial Park in Waupaca. Memorials would be appreciated for the American Lung Association. The Maple Crest Funeral Home assisted the family with arrangements.
The family extends their heartfelt gratitude to Bethany Home, ThedaCare Hospice and her special friends, Marlene, Butch, Celeste, Audrey and Lois. The world will be a little dimmer without her smile.