Darlene Perry, 87
Published 7:33 pm Tuesday, June 20, 2023
Darlene Olive (Cunningham) Perry, age 87 of Lansing passed peacefully entering heaven’s gate on Friday, June 16th, 2023. She was born September 13, 1935 in Austin, Minnesota. She grew up alongside her sister Bev & two brothers, Don & Al, who she lovingly adored throughout her lifetime. Darlene graduated from Austin High School in 1953 & was united in marriage to Duane Perry in November 1954. Throughout their marriage, they lived in Kansas; Iowa; Duluth, Sartell, & Lansing, Minnesota raising their four children.
Doo, as she was affectionately called, worked most of her life as a waitress at Ivan’s in the Park in Waite Park, Minnesota & at The Old Mill Restaurant in Austin, Minnesota for over 60 years. Her warmth & hospitality was shared by many & extended into their home for many family gatherings. Much laughter & many heartfelt problems were solved around the kitchen table served up alongside her chicken & dumplings. She was known to tell a story or two to her grandchildren when they had their listening ears on.
She enjoyed traveling with her sister & niece, playing cards, planning amazing escapades with the Ambrosia girls & her lucky streak never failed her whenever she played the slots…always relishing the many friendships she established over the years. She was always up for a good chat on the phone, often chatting away late into the night with many of her longtime friends.
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She was a vibrant spirit….loved people & life.
Her zest for life was her driving force that afforded her quality of life for many years. She was an active member of Westminster Presbyterian Church, Relay for Life, as well as the Mower County Historical Society.
She was preceded in death by her mother & Pa, Lillian (Espe) & Charles Mensink; husband, Duane Perry in December of 2021; brother & sister-in-law, Donald & Rose Cunningham; brother, Alvin Cunningham; niece, Kristen Cunningham; nephew, Troy Cunningham; father-in-law & mother-in-law, Delmas & Lurenne Perry; brother-in-law & sister-in-law, John & Carol Perry.
Darlene is survived by her children: Lorrie (Tom) Nelson, Minnesota City, MN; Steve (Terri) Perry, Mason, WI; Kelly (Bob) Mithuen, Austin, MN; Robin (Randy) South, Austin, MN; 15 grandchildren & 26 great-grandchildren; sister, Beverly Crace, Yelm, WA; aunt, Alice Brennan, Austin, MN; nephews, nieces & many dear friends.
Darlene spent the last chapter of her life under the compassionate & tender care of the staff at The Legacy of Brownsdale & St. Croix Hospice.
A memorial service will be held at 2:00 pm on Thursday, June 22nd at Westminster Presbyterian Church with the Reverend Michael Olmsted officiating. Visitation will be at the church one hour prior to the service. Interment will be at Oakwood Cemetery. Memorials are preferred to Mower County Relay for Life.
Clasen-Jordan Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.