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In Memory of Darlene Halverson

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Darlene (Nybo) Halverson passed away on April 19 at Ellsworth Health Services where she had gone to rehabilitate following her second hip surgery. On Easter, Darlene attended the church service held there and joined in the singing with her usual enthusiasm. Two days later, she knew the gift of the Resurrection firsthand as she entered the presence of her risen Savior. This was her Hope throughout her life.

Darlene was born May 23, 1936 in Red Wing to George Rodney Nybo and Josephine Bottomley Nybo. In 1938 her brother, Charles, was born. The family moved to farm in the Lund, Wisconsin area in 1942 when horses were still the main method of doing farm work. Darlene’s worst memories of growing up on the farm involved gathering eggs from the chickens. Even late in life she would react strongly if you mentioned Leghorn chickens! Darlene was very involved during her years at Maiden Rock High School and graduated as the valedictorian of her small class in 1954. Lund Mission Covenant Church was also a very important place in her growing up years and is where she gave her life to Jesus.

Darlene pursued her dream of becoming a nurse and graduated from Bethesda School of Nursing in 1957. She was a skilled and compassionate caregiver. In Red Wing she worked at St. John’s Hospital and went on to become the Director of Nursing at Haven Homes. Her last years of nursing were spent at St. Mary’s Hospital on the psychiatric unit.

Darlene was married to her first husband in 1957 and spent several years as an Air Force wife traveling to Mississippi, England, California, and Texas with children Charles and Teresa-Jo. In 1972, she was divorced and returned to Red Wing with the children. At that time, she was the Director of Nursing at Mineral Springs Treatment Center in Cannon Falls, which is where she met her second husband, Robert Halverson. That marriage in 1974 brought her two stepchildren, Scott and Shelli, and daughter, Bobbi. Beginning in 1985 she and Robert spent several years living in Florida. When they returned to Minnesota in 1988, Rochester was their home. Despite a marriage that did not always run a smooth course, Robert and Darlene were devoted to each other. They felt that having each other in their advancing years was the best comfort of all.

Darlene was a dedicated grandmother. She was the grandma that would be at every sporting event, concert, play, or awards program that she could attend. Her grandchildren knew that she would be on the sideline trying not to cheer too loudly! Her family will also always remember the big holiday meals that she was gifted at preparing just like her mother had been!

Darlene was always willing to lend a hand to family or friends. Following their retirement and return to Red Wing in 1994, Darlene and Robert volunteered for Faith in Action, Road to Recovery, and in multiple capacities at church both at First Covenant in Red Wing and Lund Covenant in Wisconsin, including as their church’s coordinators for Operation Christmas Child. They also enjoyed traveling and adding to their various collections. Norway was a very special destination where Darlene was able to meet relatives there for the first time.

Dementia took many things from Darlene, but she was still outgoing and loved to laugh, was still looking to care for others, and was still quick to show love. Darlene’s last outing was to meet her first great-grandchild, and she was in her element once again holding a newborn.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert, parents, brother, and her aunts and uncles. Survivors include her children: Charles Halverson, Minneapolis; Teresa (Jeff) Olson, Ellsworth; Bobbi (Chris) Brooks, St. Paul; stepchildren: Scott Halverson, AZ, and Shelli (Tim) Linders, Owatonna, grandchildren: Bethany (Kyle) Morton, Jordan (Ken) Stowe, Anna (fiancé Levi How) Olson, Selah (Josh) Brooks-Powell, Gabriel Brooks, Peter Olson, Grace Linders, Kyle Linders, Dylan Linders, Zachary Halverson, Mykah and Zoe Brooks, great granddaughter: Lydia Jo Morton, and numerous cousins and lifelong friends.

Darlene designated that her body be donated to Mayo Clinic for medical education. At her request, there will be a small graveside service when her body is returned. Memorials are preferred to Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (billygraham.org) or Lund Covenant Church.

As a family, we thank the loving, compassionate, and dedicated caregivers at both Preferred Senior Living in Ellsworth, who became friends, family, and dance partners to Darlene as she made her home on the memory care unit there and at Ellsworth Health Services where she recuperated from hip surgery and Covid in 2020 due to their excellent care.

Services are entrusted to O’Connell Family Funeral Home and Cremation services of Ellsworth, www.oconnellfuneralservices.com, 715-273-4421

Darlene's Tribute Wall

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  • I will truly miss Darlene’s loving nature, her love of God and her spontaneous willingness to participate in or initiate music related activities; I will miss my sometimes dance partner