Darlene Ricker, 94, passed away July 29, 2016, at the Clearview Home in Mount Ayr, Iowa. Darlene was born September 5, 1921 in Prescott, Iowa, to Harold and Berneice Schaefer. Upon the death of her mother, at age 10 she and her brothers and sister were raised by grandparents Luther and Lillie Madison. She graduated with the class of 1939 from Mount Ayr High School, passed her teaching certification and began teaching at Washington #6 country school.
On August 22, 1940, she married Eldon Ricker and after farming on two Ringgold County farms, they purchased the Ricker home farm in 1947 and lived there until retiring to Mt. Ayr in 1995.
Darlene loved the farm life and helped with all the farming activities. In addition to raising a family she was an accomplished seamstress, maintained a garden, raised chickens, and canned fruits and vegetables. Darlene and Eldon enjoyed their neighbors and continued with the local card club for many years. She spent many hours quilting at home and with friends at the Diagonal church. Golf became a passion for Eldon and Darlene and they truly enjoyed the Mount Ayr Country Club. She played into her 90’s and was always a fierce competitor. Losing was not an option. She worked in the Mount Ayr Factory as a sewing machine operator, time study analyst and supervisor. Throughout her lifetime she was involved with both the Diagonal Presbyterian Church and the Mount Ayr First Christian Church.
She was a strict disciplinarian for grammar, manners, honesty, neatness and education. There was never a doubt about her position on any of these items. She set high standards and lived by them every single day.
Darlene is survived by daughter, Karen (Ed) Brown of Maryville, Missouri, son, Gene (Vicki) Ricker of Ankeny, Iowa, six grandchildren, Mike (Regina) Ricker, Angela (Paul) Bickford, Heidi (Larry) Blackstun, Amy (Jim) Suedmeier, Greg (Cathy) Brown, and Rachel (Bart) Tatum, 12 great grandchildren, Nicole and Reece Bickford; Connor and Kennedy Brown; Alec, Miles and Matthew Tatum; Daniel, Timothy and Caitlin Ricker; Tyler and Cory Suedmeier, and brother, Bob Schaefer, along with several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by husband, Eldon; sister, Thressa and husband, Don Willey; brother, Lowell and wife, Maxine Schaefer; sister-in-law, Betty Schaefer, nephew, Randy Schaefer, and great-grandchild, Maximus Tatum.
Memorial funds will be established by the family for the HCI Hospice and the First Christian Church.
Funeral services will be at the Armstrong Funeral Home in Mount Ayr, Iowa on Wednesday, August 3 at 11:00 a.m. Visitations will be held Tuesday evening from 6:00-7:30 p.m. and at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday prior to the service.