Darlene Gail Whiddon (nee Cunningham), along with her identical twin sister, was born on January 11, 1937 in Fort Frances, Ontario. She always joked that her twin 'kicked her out of the womb' making Darlene the "oldest"! Darlene grew up with 4 older sisters and 2 older brothers in a home with lots of laughter and tricks instigated by her father.
After attending Success College in Winnipeg to learn secretarial skills Darlene met her husband, John Whiddon. They moved to Kenora to be closer to family and for a short period Darlene enjoyed working at the Kenora Miner and News. For many years Darlene was busy at home while she raised her children. Eventually, time allowed for Darlene and John to own and operate John's Bait and Tackle; Darlene tended to the store while John flew the plane to catch the minnows.
Darlene and John always enjoyed entertaining friends, dancing and traveling. One adventure took them to England to meet Darlene's penpal of 60 years! Darlene and Ethel's friendship began in grade 6 when the two were paired together to write to each other for the school year; Darlene talking about life in Fort Frances and Ethel writing about her life in Leeds, England. They continued their weekly writing and gift exchanges for decades. Inspiring!
Once retirement arrived, Darlene and John caravaned with friends across Canada and spent winters in Florida and Texas. Gardening and fish frys were enjoyed at Black Sturgeon in the summers. After John died in 2010 Darlene met new friends in the Seniors Apartment (Gardiner House). She looked forward to her morning walks for coffee with her new friends and joined in on any celebrations they had at the apartments.
Darlene loved everyone. She was always eager to go and be a part of any gathering. She was kind, witty and interested in everyone she met. She liked doing crafts and stitching, daily word searches, reading romance novels and having coffee with friends. Baking homemade cookies with Jennifer was a weekly treat. We will all miss her famous homemade pies and dinner rolls.
Darlene spent this past year enjoying the activities and community at Pinecrest Nursing Home. The family appreciates the kindness and attention she received from the caring staff. Nurse Practitioner, Mike Limerick was wonderful with Darlene and her family. This past weekend, Darlene had a wonderful Mother's Day with her daughters, enjoying the warm sunshine and seeing the deer along the trails near Pinecrest. She died peacefully on Monday May 15. She was 86.
Darlene will be dearly missed by her three children Christina (Russ Canfield), Karen (Bob Nawolski) and Kevin (Kelly Hubley), her three grandchildren Jennifer (Travis Young), Cameron and Hilary and her two great grandchildren Koby and Sophie Young. A Celebration of her Life is planned when the family can gather on August 7, 2023. A graveside service on August 8, 2023 at the Devlin Municipal Cemetery will follow.
In lieu of flowers, a donation to Pinecrest Home Auxiliary, Lake of the Woods Hospital-Foundation for Education or a charity of your choice would be appreciated by the family.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.brownfuneralhomekenora.com for the Whiddon family.