Darlene Mae Koele, one of five children of Carl H. and Wilma I. (Shirmer) Ebel, was born May 12, 1953, near Melvin, IA. She spent her youth in the Hartley, IA vicinity where she attended school. Later on, she received training as a Pharmacy Tech.
On February 9, 1998, Darlene was united in marriage to Keith C. Koele at Las Vegas, NV. They made their home near Storm Lake, IA for many years before moving to the warmer climate of Arizona. They lived there for three years, relocating to Sioux Falls, SD in January 2023, to be closer to family.
Always a “dog-lover”, it was a natural fit when Darlene opened her own dog grooming business. She enjoyed talking to the customers and especially – to their furry pets! She just had a way with dogs, often stopping to pet them if she were out on a walk. Health reasons finally dictated a change, so Darlene decided to close her grooming van. This just meant she had more time to spend with her own two dogs, Peanut and Laci Mae, who were always given lots of affection and treated like royalty.
Darlene’s caring nature endeared her to all the people in her life. She usually worried about everyone but herself and looked forward to doing things with her daughter – like going shopping for a hot “deal”. Even her daughter’s friends called Darlene “Mama”.
Along with tending to her family and her dogs, Darlene spent many hours outdoors working in her vegetable garden. She would generously share the summer’s produce with family and friends or can what they couldn’t use to enjoy it during the winter months. She also loved to cook and bake…the grandkids always knew there’d be something good to eat at Grandma’s house! Of course, Darlene treasured the times she spent with each one of them – going to movies together or just hanging out, because to her – family was everything. She was proud of her grandsons, and fine, young men that they were growing up to be.
On Friday, April 28, 2023, Darlene passed from this life at the age of 69 years. She now joins loved ones who had gone before: her stepson, Shane Koele; her parents, Carl and Wilma Ebel; son-in-law, Jeremy Bishop; one sister, Mavis Miller, and one brother, Merle Ebel.
Keeping her memory close at heart are her husband, Keith Koele of Sioux Falls, SD; her children: Christina Bishop, Jeremie (Melissa) Gibbs all of Sioux Falls, SD, Stacie Long of Ruthven, IA, and Shannon (Alex) Demkiw of Cedar Falls, IA; eight grandchildren: Remington, Quinton, Austin, Alex, Shane, Elias, Maximum, and Sasha; two great-grandchildren: Levi and Kolt; her sister, Carla Jean Doherty of Cherokee, IA; her brother, Carl H. “Duke” Ebel, Jr. of Hartley, IA; other relatives and many friends.