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Darlene (Johnson) Griffin
May 16, 1942 ~ October 3, 2023 (age 81) 81 Years Old
Our beloved and beautiful mom, Darlene Florence (Johnson) Griffin 81, passed away on October 3rd, 2023 at St. Vincent’s Care Facility in Bismarck, North Dakota, surrounded by her children, grandchildren, her brother, sister and brother in-law.
Darlene was born May 16, 1942 in Flom, Minnesota to Anna (Ronning) and Nels Johnson. She graduated from Twin Valley High School in Minnesota. Married to Denny Wayne Darrah in 1961, they had two daughters together, Dodie Lynn and Denise Michelle. Married to Thomas Griffin in 1972, they had one son together, Blake Thomas. They made their home in Hazen, North Dakota.
Darlene loved spending time with family and friends. She cherished relationships with her siblings, nieces and nephews. She often recalled memories of growing up with her 10 siblings. Throughout her life, Darlene enjoyed camping, fishing, gardening, canning, bingo, fleischkuekle frys and Saturday family day trips. She was fond of live music and dancing – Charlie Pride is her all-time favorite artist. Her creative outlets included drawing, writing and sewing. Quite the seamstress, she would make her daughters’ dresses and Barbie clothes. She always had dreams of being a hairdresser and owning her own beauty shop.
Throughout her life, Darlene worked had various careers. Her favorite places she worked were Hy-Vee in Burlington, Iowa, and managing the Hazen Bottle Shop for 20 years.
Darlene lived for her children and grandchildren. She followed her grandchildren throughout their school activities, sports and life events, and loved every moment. She has always been our biggest cheerleader. As dementia tried to steal her mind and voice, she still knew who we were at the very end. She was especially close to her great grandson Thomas (7), and was joyful for the arrival of her great granddaughter Maeryn (1).
Darlene is survived by her children, Dodie (Arliss) Maas, Dede (Dale) Oestreich and Blake (Laura) Griffin. The loves of her life, her grandchildren, Clifton (Dana) Maas, Sadie (Ben) Keaveny, Collin Maas and friend Samantha. Dusty Oestriech and Olivia Oestreich. Camille Griffin and fiancée Tate, and Carson Griffin. And bonus grandson Demarques (Summer) Smith. Her great grandchildren Thomas Maas and Maeryn Keaveny. Her sister Rita (Tom) Bastion, and brothers Donald Johnson and Dennis Johnson, and many nieces and nephews.
Darlene was preceded in death by her parents, her beloved sisters Lillian, Violet, Vivian and Renee, and brothers Roy, Johnnie, Harry. Grandson Chance Weylin. Sister in-laws Sharon (Donald) and Sharon (Dennis), and many nieces and nephews.
It was our mom’s wish to be cremated, with no viewing or funeral. We will have a celebration of her life in Spring 2024, for family and friends to gather and honor our sweet Dolly.
Memorials in honor of Darlene – Suggested donation to St. Vincent’s Good Samaritan Society in Bismarck. They took such loving care of our mom for 5 years. Additionally, any gifts of money received will help toward dedicating a park bench to be located in Hazen.
We would love to have your favorite memories of our beautiful mom in a card, to gather everyone’s kind words and stories, to be shared at her celebration of life.