Darlene M. Reed passed away peacefully with family at her side on March 2, 2020, six days shy of her 87th birthday. Darlene was born on March 8, 1933 in Yakima, Washington, the only child of Francis and Olive Gamache. She grew up in a close-knit French Catholic community and lived in an apartment above the small neighborhood grocery store that her father owned and operated. Darlene graduated high school from St. Joseph Academy in Yakima where she developed friendships she would cherish all her life. After two years attending Seattle University she returned home and met the love of her life, John Reed from Zillah, Washington, and they were married on May 14, 1955. John and Darlene raised five children who were the focus of their lives and in whom they instilled a love of family and an appreciation for the simple things in life. John passed away in 1999, but Darlene steadfastly maintained her role as the matriarch of the family until the end.
Darlene was a busy homemaker all her adult life and yet found time to leave a big imprint in the communities in which she lived. She was especially devoted to Providence Hospital in Milwaukie, Oregon and served on the Board of its foundation for many years. In 2012 Darlene received the Spirit of Emilie Mission Inspiration Award from Providence in appreciation for her many years of dedicated volunteer service to the organization. She was a faithful catholic her entire life and was also active with the YLI catholic women’s organization.
Darlene loved spending time with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She was a sweet and mild soul, but also had a competitive spirit that drove her interests in playing bridge with her friends, building puzzles and playing cards with her children and grandchildren, and heading to Reno, Vegas, and Spirit Mountain for some fun with the slot machines. There was no better cure for a winter cold than a steaming bowl of her homemade chicken rice soup, and we all have a drawer of dish cloths Mom knitted for us. Darlene’s life was a testament to perseverance. She overcame the loss of a newly-born child, several personal health conditions, and the loss of her dear husband with a sheer determination to live and carry on for the sake of her family.
Darlene is survived by her five children, Mark, David (Kathy), Melissa, Michael, and Deanne (David). The treasures of her life were her grandchildren, Stefan, Andy, Cory, Megan, Alison, Shane, Jamie, Jon James (JJ), Catrina, Addie, and Olivia; and of course her precious 10 great-grandchildren. The family is heartbroken with the loss of our dear mother but will carry on in the example of perseverance she gave us, and we are grateful that she is now reunited with her husband John and daughter Mary Theresa.
If you wish to make a donation in Darlene’s name, you may want to consider the Providence Milwaukie Foundation, 10150 SE 32nd Ave., Milwaukie, OR 97222. (503) 513-8325 or you may use the link at the bottom of the page.
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Providence Milwaukie Foundation
10150 SE 32nd Ave., Milwaukie, Oregon 97222,