Darlene Rae Preston
Darlene Rae Preston, 77, passed away at her home in Inver Grove Heights on July 23, 2012.
Funeral services will be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, July 28, 2012 at the Bruce-Graham Funeral Home. Interment will follow in the North Lawn Cemetery. Visitation will be held one hour prior to service time Saturday at the funeral home.
Darlene was born to Laurabelle and Frank Niemier in Fort Dodge, Iowa on July 8, 1935. After high school she entered the nursing program in Des Moines. During that time she met and married Harold Preston. She worked on and off as a practical nurse, nurses aide, medical secretary, invoice clerk, medical transcriptionist and church secretary. Her 3 boys: Steve, Paul and David were an important part of her life. She said she often resented the time that she had to spend away from them. Her children remember her as being an incredibly supportive parent attending all of their large and small school, church, athletics and social events.
Early on she participated in church women's associations, school PTA and bridge. She was an avid reader with an encyclopedic vocabulary. She was a volunteer juvenile probation officer with Hennepin County Court Services from 1970-75. There she received a Certificate of Merit for distinguished personal contribution. She worked as a crisis counselor with Contact Twin Cities from 1976- 1985 and she received a Chemical Dependency Certificate from Minneapolis Community College in 1984.
Darlene met Bud Koelmel during the 1980s which was transformational for her. They became life partners and she blossomed from the former ministers wife to this fully formed free spirit. They established a home on a lake in East Bethel.
She was well traveled, having visited Paul and Kristi in Taipei, Taiwan and traveled with her mother to visit David when he was stationed with the Army in Germany. She also traveled to visit Steve and Pat in homes in Texas and Massachusetts.
Left to cherish her memory are her children: Stephen (Pat), Paul (Kristi), David (Barbara) Preston; grandchildren: Timothy, Stephanie, Nicole, and Alicia. Darlene was also cherished by Buds children Stephen (Dana), and Jeffrey (Susan) Koelmel and Julie (Pete) Brown. Darlene is survived by her siblings: Norma Jean Ogburn, George(Gay), and Dale(Jeanette) Niemier, Diane (Jim) Lutz, and numerous loved nieces, nephews and cousins. Darlene was thought of as a free spirit and her younger sister described her as being like a wild flower. She was preceded in death by her life partner Wilbur Bud Koelmel and her parents Laurabelle and Frank Niemier.
Fort Dodge Area Funeral & Cremation Service, Bruce Funeral Home