Darlene was born on January 12, 1934 to Robert and Edna Ruth Maxey in Kinmundy, Illinois. She graduated from Freeport High School and spent most of her life in Champaign raising her children and supporting her Champaign firefighter husband. She was the chief cook and bottle washer for the Stahl clan and the rock behind the scenes for her husband. She spent over 25 years providing home daycare services to many children and did such a great job, those children grew up and then brought their children to Darlene for care. She is “mom” to many more kids than her own. She ran the daycare operation with military precision; all the time providing love and support to all who came in to her house. Darlene never turned anyone away and helped in any way possible. In later life Darlene and Ken enjoyed retirement at Bayles Lake in Loda, Illinois and later moved to Mahomet. Over the past several years she has battled the various stages of Alzheimer’s and has finally been relieved of her suffering. Darlene and Ken can now be together without the perils of mortal life.
They were married on April 14, 1952 and have six children whom all survive. They are Michael (Tonya) Stahl, Ellen (Mark) Stevens, Sandra (Gary) Thompson, Melanie (Steve) Fawbush, William Stahl and Dennis (Amy) Stahl. They have 17 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren. Darlene and Ken will be busy keeping watch over everyone!
Darlene was preceded in death by her parents, Robert and Edna Ruth Maxey, sister-in-law’s Jean Maxey and Kathy Maxey, brother-in-law Knox Gardner, her mother and father-in- law, Kenneth and Maud Stahl. Darlene is also survived by her five siblings, George Maxey, Loren (June) Maxey, Dorene Gardner (twin sister), Richard (Marsha) Maxey, and Roger (Daisey) Maxey, a sister-in-law Carol (Robert) Wooster also survives, and many nieces and nephews will also keep Darlene in their hearts and minds.
Darlene welcomed everyone into her home and many of her children’s friends were regulars at the kitchen table. Darlene made sure nobody left their home hungry. She had a great smile and was never afraid to tackle a project. Darlene will be missed but never forgotten.
A special thanks to Dr. Jennifer Stevens (granddaughter) who provided her medical care over the last few years and to Ellen (daughter) for taking care of Darlene by visiting with her every week and making sure she had everything she needed. And a special thanks to the wonderful staff at Fairview Haven for taking excellent care of Darlene.
There will be a memorial service held at 10:30 am on Friday, May 25th at Owens Funeral Home, 101 North Elm Street, Champaign. Burial will be private.
In lieu of flowers the family would prefer memorial contributions in honor of Darlene and Ken, please send it to Fairview Haven at 605 N. 4th Street, Fairbury, Illinois 61739 in care of the Good Samaritan Fund or to the Champaign Firefighters Local 1260 Charities Fund in care of Station 1, 307 S. Randolph in Champaign, Illinois 61820.