Leora “Darlene” Birkmann, 91, passed away Thursday January 7, 2021 at the Olathe Hospice House. A visitation will be held from 1-2pm Wednesday January 13 at Penwell-Gabel Funeral Home, Olathe Chapel followed by an informal service at 2pm. Burial will follow at Pleasant Valley Cemetery in Stanley. Darlene was born February 23, 1929 in Edmond, KS to Roy and Cecil (Milner) Huff. She attended high school in Fair Grove MO and graduated in 1946. She married her husband Mac Birkmann in 1948. From this marriage 3 children were born David “Wynn”, Mark and Kelly. Darlene and Mac raised their family in the Kansas City area.
Her first job was as a telephone operator after high school. Her professional career was that of homemaker and wonderful Mother! She loved her years working at Sears Outlet in Olathe also.
Darlene was a talented artist and liked oil painting best. She had a green thumb and all her plants thrived and led her to build solariums in two of her homes. She was a very avid reader and always had a book by her side. She attended Church regularly and it was an important part of her life. Shopping was a pastime she enjoyed also, especially hunting bargains. Probably her favorite pastime was spending as much time as possible with family and friends. She was so loved by others and considered a Mom & Grandma to many.
Many vacations and summers were spent in southern Florida that led to relocating and living in Florida for a few years. Around 1976 Kansas was home again and Olathe was city of choice. In 1995 Mac & Darlene moved to the country in rural Osawatomie to be near their grandchildren which they dearly loved. After Mac’s passing Darlene lived with family and moved back to Olathe.
She was preceded in death by her parents, son Mark, husband Mac and siblings, Harold,Deanie, Karleen, Carol Mae, and Nancy
She is survived by her sister Lanae (Jeff) McLaughlin of Hebron NE, son David (Margaret) of Lenexa KS, daughter Kelly (Greg) of Olathe KS. Grandchildren Shandi of Olathe, Aaron (Lisa) of Spring Hill Ks and Riley of Olathe. Great grandchildren Bodhi, Jaxon and Zoey.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to Olathe Medical Center Hospice House.
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Click the image below to watch Darlene's service