Darlene Rose Johnson was born January 11, 1934, in Lake City, Iowa to Johnnie and Alma (Luckow) Johnson. She, along with her 10 brothers and sisters, grew up with ‘family farm living’ in their blood. She was baptized in the Lutheran faith and has always held strong to her unfailing trust in God. Darlene excelled in sports, particularly basketball where she competed at the state level in free throws. She graduated from Jolley High School in 1952.
Darlene met the love of her life, Darrel Peyton, they were married on January 31, 1954. They were blessed with four children. In February 1963, they moved their family to a farm on Lake Latimer near Long Prairie, MN. They raised their family to love and appreciate the great outdoors and farm life. When the children were older, Darlene worked for Hart Press/Banta Publications, eventually as a Customer Service Representative. She retired after 33 years of service.
Darlene loved competition. She enjoyed her softball leagues and bowling – especially tournaments. As her family and friends know, Darlene played to win whether it was bean bags or pool. She enjoyed her card clubs and cross-country skiing. Board games with family got exciting.
Darlene and Darrel enjoyed traveling. They loved camping with family, particularly the annual fishing trip to Canada. They took many vacations to exotic locations from the Caribbean to Hawaii to Europe and Alaska. If Darlene and Darrel weren’t traveling, they spent many evenings playing cribbage and in true “Darlene” fashion, score was always kept. At last count, over 16,600 games had been played.
Darlene had many talents in life and being a solid rock for her family was her greatest achievement. Her pride and joy were her children, grandchildren and later, her great-grandchildren. Her love of family led her to be active in all parts of their lives. From basketball games, horse shows, volleyball, wrestling, hockey, baseball, tennis, bean bags, dance team tournaments, making jam, and camping trips at the lake, Darlene had a way of making each one of the children feel like her ‘favorite.’ The moment she saw any of them, they were instantly wrapped in one of her famous hugs. Her silly sense of humor, endless energy and spunky personality lives on in the hearts of each of them. They knew she was their ‘biggest’ fan.
Darlene is survived by her husband Darrel; children: Deborah (Rodney) Garlock, Randy (Pam) Peyton, Danny (Deloris) Peyton, Jerry (Connie) Peyton; 12 grandchildren; 23 great grandchildren and her siblings: Delores (Bill) Phillips, Duane Johnson, Mavis (Ron) Ziemet, Darrell (Norma) Johnson, Dean (Marcy) Johnson, Dennis (Patty) Johnson, and Diane (Dave) Dierson.
Darlene is preceded in death by her parents, Johnnie and Alma Johnson; grandson Preston Rohr, and siblings: Mildred Williams, Eloise Hilmer, and Donald Johnson.
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