Darlene Heckenlaible, age 81 of Medford, Oregon and formerly of Menno, SD passed away on Saturday, July 17, 2021, at Providence Hospital in Medford. Memorial services will be 10:00 a.m., Monday, August 9, 2021, at the Aisenbrey-Opsahl-Kostel Memorial Chapel in Menno, SD with the Rev. Michael Hecht officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to service time at the chapel. Burial of her cremated remains will be in the Menno Cemetery, Menno, SD. Live streaming of Darlene’s services can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/opsahlkostel/live. Online condolences may be sent at: www.opsahl-kostelfuneralhome.com. The Aisenbrey-Opsahl-Kostel Memorial Chapel, Menno, SD is assisting with the services details.
Darlene Heckenlaible was born on the family farm near Menno, South Dakota, on November 5, 1939, to Edwin D. and Albina (Mettler) Heckenlaible and was baptized January 14, 1940, by Rev. Kaempchen at Ebenezer Reformed Church in rural Menno. She was confirmed at the Salem Reformed Church by Rev. Kaempchen in 1954 and was a member there until leaving the area.
After attending rural school for several years, Darlene graduated from Menno Elementary School in 1953 and Menno High School in 1957. After attending South Dakota State University and receiving her degree in textiles and journalism in 1961, she put those skills to work as an extension home economist in upstate New York until returning to the University of Minnesota for her advanced degree in design in 1969. She held teaching and administrative positions at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, Art Center College of Art and Design in Pasadena, California, Rogue Community College in Grants Pass, Oregon and Pacific College of Art and Design in Medford, Oregon. Over the years she owned her own private consulting business in graphic design, brochure development and interior design, as well as teaching formal and informal adult classes in those and other do-it-yourself design subjects.
Music was a constant theme of her life as she participated in choral groups and community concerts from her time in South Dakota and throughout her diverse work locations. Her time in different states gave her a chance to explore the history of the areas and pursue travel opportunities.
Darlene is survived by her brother Glenn Heckenlaible of Menno, her nieces and nephews and numerous friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, her sister Verna Zeeb, her brother-in-law Elmer Zeeb, her sister-in-law Velda Heckenlaible and her niece Carmen J. Heckenlaible.