Darlene Louise (Gruchow) Imel completed her earthly journey September 24. Darlene was born August 3, 1936, to Elmer and Eva Gruchow in Stayton, OR. She grew up alongside younger sister Dorothy on their parents’ sprawling dairy farm in Siletz, just inland from Newport, OR. Darlene graduated from Western Oregon State College with a degree in Education. She married Art Imel in 1957 and they moved to Nampa, ID in 1964 for Art’s career at NNC (now NNU).
Darlene had her own career teaching at Sunny Ridge Elementary school starting in 1971. She thrived on teaching. Her students learned to make applesauce on Johnny Appleseed Day and gingerbread people in December. She devised her own individualized spelling program before that was a popular method. Each year she read Charlotte’s Web to her class, striving to not cry during the ending. Darlene’s teaching style and mothering style were much the same. She was always approachable and kind, inspiring obedience through her great love.
Darlene looked forward to yearly trips back to the dairy farm to visit her parents and meet up with Dorothy’s family. Ever the farm girl, she loved being outdoors, including working in her yard and garden. She and Art loved camping at Cascade Lake and the Oregon Coast and skiing at Bogus Basin.
Darlene’s great loves beyond her family were children, birds, wildflowers, sewing, and knitting. She once had a hummingbird land in her hands while she was rescuing it from the garage—much to her awe and delight. She sewed her own wedding gown and thirty years later sewed her daughter’s–and the four bridesmaids’ dresses!
Darlene retired from the classroom just prior to becoming a grandmother, a role she cherished, and which inspired several knitting and cross-stitching projects. Around this time Darlene developed a passion for collecting Depression glass and loved making the rounds of antiques stores with her dear friend and fellow teacher Nita Sherrill.
Darlene lived a quiet faith in her Lord Jesus. She faithfully attended College Church of the Nazarene and later Cole Community Church. Her Bible is filled with sermon notes, but she was never preachy.
Darlene is preceded in death by grandson Mitchell Clay Morgan and by husband Arthur Imel. She is survived by son Kevin Imel and Missy Lee of Palouse, WA, daughter Karyn and Phil Morgan of Boise, grandchildren Colson and McKenna Morgan of Boise, and sister Dorothy and Steve Atkinson of Gresham, OR. A private graveside service will take place at Dry Creek Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made to Boise Rescue Mission’s Women & Children’s Shelter https://boiserm.org/facilities/city-light/.