HAZARD — Darlene M. Hughes, 87, of Hazard died Tuesday, July 21, 2020, at her home with her son David by her side.

Funeral services are 10:30 a.m. Monday at Hazard United Methodist Church with the Rev. Scott Evans officiating. The family requests casual attire and masks be worn for the services. Burial will follow at Highland Park Cemetery in Ravenna.

Visitation is 4-6 p.m. Sunday at O’Brien Straatmann Redinger Funeral and Cremation Services in Kearney.

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Darlene and her twin sister, Donna, were born Oct. 16, 1932, to Truman and Vera (Rasmussen) Johnson at the rural farm home near Pleasanton of their grandparents, Aktor and Anna Johnson. As a young child her family lived on several rented farms in Buffalo and Sherman counties. In 1944, the family bought an acreage in Hazard. Darlene attended grade school and high school there. She graduated in 1950. Her class was the last to graduate from there before the high school closed. She attended Kearney State College after graduation, taking summer preparation classes, and began her teaching career that fall at the age of 18 at the K-8 rural Newburg School.

Darlene married her husband, Donald Lee Hughes, on June 16, 1951. They were blessed with 51 years of marriage before Don’s passing in 2002. To this union were born three children, David Lee, Scott Dale and Gay Lynne.

Darlene resumed her teaching career once their children were old enough to attend school. She continued her college education while teaching by working hard and attending summer school. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1976. She retired from her 36-year teaching career in 1997.

Darlene was confirmed in 1947 at the Hazard United Methodist Church and remained strong in her faith until the time of her passing. She was active in the church helping with Sunday school, vacation Bible school, UMW and various other offices within the church.

She was fully committed to her faith in God, her family and her friends. She loved them all deeply. Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren were extremely special to her and brought her much joy.

Darlene will be remembered for so many things. She was the rock of the family and the glue that held us all together. She was humble and kind. She always had a smile and a hug for you. She did not know a stranger! She had a memory for every detail on family and community history. You could count on her to tell it like it was as not much got past her. She could run circles around most of us. She was very independent and blessed with great neighbors, family and friends, but she pretty much maintained the farm by herself after the passing of her husband.

She could be found in the kitchen baking or cooking something delicious just about any day of the week, and then sharing it with someone. Darlene always loved trying new recipes. Even at the age of 87, she could still throw down one heck of a family meal.

People would comment on how nice she always looked from her head to her toes. She loved bright beautiful colors and always walked and did everything with a purpose. She took pride in her appearance and said, "Well, it doesn’t take very long to put on a little lipstick."

She was a person full of life and joy. You could tell her, "have a good day, Mom," and her reply would always be, "I always have a good day; I have lived a good life and I thank God for it." She never ended a goodbye without saying "I love you," and she will always be remembered as "great grandma on the Farm." She was simply amazing!

She is survived by her children, David (Judy) of Hazard; Scott (Jennifer) of Gering; Gay Warner of Kearney; grandchildren, Jamie and Missi Glinsmann of Hickman, T.J. Farris and Dustin Cash of Kearney, Jacy and Todd Porter of Lodi, Wisconsin, Damon Farris of San Diego, Chastity and Derrie Adams of Alliance, Ashley Hughes of Johnston, Iowa, and Shannon Hughes of Gering; great-grandchildren, Lauren, A.J., Katelyn and Emily Glinsmann, Lincoln, Brecken and Frankie Porter, Devin Hughes, Jarron Santos, Kyler Adams and Dreyton and Jessi Perez.

Darlene was preceded in death by her husband, Donald Lee Hughes; parents, Truman and Vera Johnson; twin sister, Donna and husband LaVern Lueders; son-in-law, Brent Warner; great-grandchildren, Marcus Santos and Path Werner; in-laws, Ralph and Mildred Hughes and Rolland and Pat Hughes.

Memorials may be given to any of the following organizations, per Darlene’s request: Ravenna Historical Society, Sherman County Historical Society, Ravenna Friends of the Library or Hazard United Methodist Church.

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