Cover photo for Darlene E. Dahlke's Obituary
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1949 Darlene 2021

Darlene E. Dahlke

March 31, 1949 — May 23, 2021

Darlene E. Dahlke, 72, was called to her eternal home May 23rd, 2021, after a hard-fought battle with Lewy body dementia.  Darlene was born in Detroit, Michigan on March 31st, 1949, to her beautiful mother, Betty (Wirrell) Korpi.  Betty met Darlene’s father, Hugo Korpi, a navy man, while he was on shore leave during World War II in Sydney, Australia.  Moving several times in her childhood, traversing the country from Michigan to California and back, Darlene developed an exceptionally close relationship with her mother.  She was a dedicated and loving daughter, cherishing visits with her mom throughout Betty’s life, much of which was spent in Marquette, Michigan.  She was proud of her mother’s Australian heritage, and the spirited and fiery attitude she had, which was a trait that Betty passed along to her daughter. 
A graduate of Farmington High School, in Farmington Michigan, Darlene went on to further her education through technical school and with coursework in the insurance industry.  Darlene was a valued employee at Humana for 33 years, becoming a Senior Health Underwriter, and being recognized for her proficiency in that field.  Throughout her years at Humana, Darlene developed many close friendships with her coworkers, which endured until the end of her life.  She relished getting together with her girlfriends to do Zumba classes, have lunches and to chat and laugh loudly with whomever was in her company.  Darlene was an exuberant personality, bringing laughter and lively mischief wherever she went.  Her friends remember her for her loyalty and the joy she carried with her, which she brought to them in large quantities throughout her life.   
In 1984, near her apartment complex in Green Bay, Darlene was playing frisbee with her dog Schnappes, when a fateful and suspiciously accurate “errant” throw landed near a man walking to his car, manufacturing the opportunity to meet the person who would become her best friend, soulmate and husband, David Dahlke.  Darlene and Dave were married June 27th, 1987, in Green Bay, WI.  Dave and Darlene were inseparable.  They enjoyed traveling the country together, either with their fifth wheel camper, or to destinations through their timeshare vacation condo.  Over nearly 34 years of marriage, they enjoyed their adventures and travels together. Being home in De Pere, WI was always a comfort however, having strong ties to the Fox Valley.  They spent much time at family gatherings at the Dahlke farm in Ellisville, WI, with Dave’s mother and father, Dorothy and Harvey Dahlke.  Trips into the Appleton area were also frequent for Thanksgiving, Christmas, 4th of July, birthdays or other holiday and spur of the moment weekend gatherings with his brother Jim (Sue) Dahlke, or to watch music or sporting events for their nephews Corey (Becky), Josh (Nikki), Shawn (Kristin) and Jordan (Tracy) Dahlke.  They also enjoyed excursions further south, into Naperville or Libertyville, Illinois, likewise, to enjoy holidays, and family events with Dave’s brother Dan (Nan) Dahlke, niece Alyssa and nephews Ben (Karen) and Tyler Dahlke, or spending time with them at their cabin in Rapid River, MI. 
Faith in God was an important part of Darlene’s life.  As a member of Faith Lutheran Church in Green Bay, WI, Darlene honored her Lord by being an active member of His house, serving as the church financial secretary, an alter guild member, and being on the church council.  Her faith sustained her throughout her life and brought her comfort in her final days.  Even in her darkest moments in care facilities, acapella renditions of “How Great Thou Art” sung by Pastor Errer could bring her ears to attention and a smile to her face, even if her eyes could no longer open.
In her home life in De Pere, Darlene was a lover of all animals, enjoying feeding the birds and watching the deer and other local wildlife through the windows overlooking the ravine or fields surrounding their home.  Dog owners for many years, Dave and Darlene delighted in the company of their dogs Schnappes, then Casey.  After the passing of their faithful canine companions, Darlene turned her tender heart toward the rescue of what seemed like every homeless cat that came across her path.  Her gentle but unrelenting persuasion convinced Dave to feed, and house a tough, but sweet one eyed, half tailed stray, whom they named Miss Kitty.  This led to a kitten surplus, after the arrival of 2 more of Miss Kitty’s offspring, Sassy and Sprinty.  Darlene took great pleasure in the entertainment her brood of cats brought, as they likely appealed to her mischievous nature.  Not long after the last of her cats were gone, another furry friend, Megan, made an appearance on Darlene’s doorstep.  Darlene’s unwavering resolve, and Dave’s love for his wife with her compassionate heart for animals resulted in the migration from semiregular outdoor feedings and electric blanket warmed garage bedding to full time inside residence. 
Darlene was a caring and wonderful person.  She loved her God, her family, her friends, and her animals.  As people of great faith, Dave and Darlene were wonderful examples of God’s love.  In John chapter 13, verses 34-35, Jesus says, “A new command I give to you: Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Dave and Darlene reflected God’s love for them by how they treated each other.  Dave loved his wife without end, caring for her tirelessly as her health declined.  Darlene was Dave’s faithful companion until her last day on earth.  They fulfilled their promise to one another, to love each other as God has loved them.
Darlene will be missed by her family, friends, fellow church members, and most of all, by her husband, Dave.  She was preceded in death by her mother, Betty Korpi, and her Father, Hugo Korpi, as well as her father and mother-in-law Harvey and Dorothy Dahlke.  She is survived by her husband, David Dahlke, brothers-in-law James (Sue) Dahlke and Daniel (Nan) Dahlke, as well as her cousins in Michigan and Australia, and her beloved nieces, nephews and grand-nieces and nephews.  We rest assured, knowing that we will see Darlene again in heaven, and look forward to that day where we will be together, just as God promises through the words of the apostle Paul in Romans 8: 38-39, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Family and friends may visit at Faith Lutheran Church, 2335 S Webster Ave, Green Bay, on Friday, May 28, from 9:00am until 10:45am. Funeral service will be held at 11:00am with Pastor Joshua Errer officiating. Burial will be in St. Paul Cemetery, Montpelier. Cotter Funeral and Cremation Care is assisting the family. Memories and condolences may be shared at www.cotterfuneralhome.com
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to either Faith Lutheran Church or Wisconsin Humane Society- Green Bay Campus.
We give special thanks to staff at Allouez Parkside for their care of Darlene in her final days, Pastor Errer for his spiritual guidance, and all of the friends and family who have helped make Darlene’s life so rich and full of love.  Revelation 14: 13, Then I heard a voice from heaven say “Write this:  Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.  Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.”

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Friday, May 28, 2021

9:00 - 10:45 am (Eastern time)

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Friday, May 28, 2021

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