Service of Remembrance for Darlene C. Roehl, 64, of Hettinger, ND will be Sunday, October 28, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. at the United Methodist Church on Airport Road in Hettinger, ND. Rev. Duane Coates will officiate and burial of Darlene’s ashes will be at a later date at the Hettinger Cemetery.
Grateful for having shared in her life are her sons, Brian Roehl, Hettinger, ND, Stephen (Sami) Warnecke, Elbow Lake, MN and Andy (Annie) Roehl, of Hettinger, ND, five grandchildren, Cherokee, Jasmine, Ryene, Emma and Wynsten, one brother and several sisters. Darlene was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Rev. David Roehl and her first husband, Rev. Ronald Warnecke.
Darlene Carol Roehl, born June 9th, 1954, passed away on Thursday evening at the West River Regional Medical Center in Hettinger, after nearly nine days of intensive treatment.
Raised in West Frankfort, Illinois, with her brother and sisters, Darlene cultivated her compassions for music, faith, family, and food- with her culinary roots beginning in her front yard, plucking leaves off trees to feed “salad” to her dolls and kitties.
After graduating high school, Darlene was bound for the big city of Chicago, where she began her college years, finding her way up the ranks in the Salvation Army. There, Darlene was known for her outgoing personality, coupled with her adoration for friends and expertise in public speaking. Strumming her guitar and singing songs of worship was one of her all-time hobbies that she gladly shared with anyone willing to lend an ear.
She later met her first husband, Ronald Warnecke. As a result, their first child, Brian Paul, was born in 1983. And in 1986, the couple celebrated the birth of their second son, Stephen Craig. The happiness in their home was short-lived, however, as a mere month after Stephen was born, Ronald succumbed to a heart condition and tragically perished.
Widowed, with two very young children, Darlene was broken, but never strayed from her love towards God. In due time, she found herself in the arms of her second husband, David Roehl, who loved her with all his heart. The couple married in June of 1987, and had their son, Andrew David, in 1989.
Although Darlene may have aspired to have daughters, she wound up having three sons. And as a wholesome woman, with unwavering faith and devotion to living a pure life, Darlene soon realized how hard that lifestyle would be while living in a house full of “men”. Adolescent behavior, potty-humor, and copious amounts of immaturity, over the course of several years, plagued Darlene’s day-to-day activities, on top of cooking, cleaning, and maintaining her own sanity. She also endured several hours of “boy movies”. But, alas, Darlene would always overcome, and often played the role of supreme parent, even over her own husband.
Over time, Darlene developed the most acute motherly powers, which included super-baking, super-hearing, and super-“I know you’re lying, don’t even pull that one on me!”
Darlene and her family moved from place-to-place, state-to-state, wherever the Lord guided them. David worked as a minister and Darlene worked in the same sense, such as a Make-A-Wish coordinator in Wyoming, to a Ronald McDonald House representative in North Dakota.
In 2001, Darlene and family moved to Hettinger, as David was beginning his time as the United Methodist Pastor. She would step up to preach from time to time and share her songs of faith with the congregation.
Darlene was, without a doubt, SuperMom! Fighting for truth, justice, and the most family-friendly way. And with the love of her life, Pastor Dave, by her side, nothing was impossible.
But SuperMom did have her kryptonite. And it came in many forms, from a bottle to a glass, from a box to a can. It started innocently enough, but over the course of several years, Darlene and David formed a nasty habit of drinking. Especially after their nest became empty, and more problems (worse than boys) moved in. Financial, emotional, and psychological. Darlene and David drowned out their struggles, only to make matters worse.
After many, unsuccessful, attempts to relinquish the abuse, their fate became cemented the evening of August 31st, 2016, when David was killed, ironically, by a drunk driver.
The loss of her husband and best friend weighed far too heavy, causing her to turn towards more alcohol to douse the unbearable pain, and numb the sense of emptiness. The only thing she could ever want, the only desire she longed for at that point, was to be with her beloved David, in Heaven.
Throughout 2017, Darlene endured several court cases, finally ending with the sentencing of the man responsible for her husband’s death. She delivered a profound statement, that day, about the choices we make, and that a single choice could lead to an enormous consequence.
In 2018, Darlene’s body began to break down, and the sweet, joy-filled, loving Mom started to fade away. Always self-conscience of the way she looked, Darlene mostly spent her days in her apartment, watching Food Network with her 18-year-old cat, Roz.
In September, Darlene witnessed the marriage of her youngest son, Andrew, to the love of his life, Annie. The day was filled with abundant love, as Darlene was in the company of friends and family. She was still the mother we all knew as she made sure to tell Andrew to behave himself during the ceremony.
By early October, she began losing interest in appetite, which, in-turn, made her weak and dizzy. She was admitted to the hospital where she spent her remaining days, with the support of a wonderful medical team.
After a long, nearly nine-day battle with all her ailments, and the odds being stacked high against her, Darlene became exhausted. David’s loss had taken its toll, and she was ready to see him again, after missing him for so long. No more pain, no more suffering, Darlene was made comfortable and held hands with her sons and many friends who stopped by to see her as she drifted away to peace.
Darlene may not have had the daughters she once wanted, but she had three sons who loved her so much. And siblings, who loved her so much. And more friends than she thought she knew, who loved her so much. The sadness and void felt in her absence is immense. And the notion that our invincible SuperMom is gone, is unfathomable.
Her wish to be with David has been fulfilled. And she is free of her pain and suffering. Darlene, sweet mother, beloved sister, will be missed beyond measure.