Darlene Joyce Bailes Groves was born on October 15, 1935 in Kansas City, Kansas to Aca and Lillian (Perkins) Bailes. She was one of four children, being the youngest daughter. The family home continued to be in Kansas City.
Darlene later met Walter Donald Groves and they were married January 6, 1953 in Kansas City, Kansas. Born to this union were 13 children, the elder being born there before the family moved to Tonganoxie, Kansas and then later moving to Orrick, Missouri.
Family meant everything to Darlene and she couldn’t ever get too much family time. She enjoyed everyone, especially children. She enjoyed daily walks with the children, shopping, visiting family, holidays and gardening. In the early years of her marriage, the walks with her children entailed pulling the red wagon and selling tomatoes to the town folks of Orrick. In addition to caring for her family, other hobbies were knitting and doing favors for elderly neighbors and friends.
Walter retired and moved the family from Missouri to Iowa in 1979 living in Mount Ayr and surrounding areas in southwest Iowa. Moving to Iowa brought Darlene the taste of country living where she and Walter became avid gardeners and enjoyed every minute of it. Many of them remember the pride she felt after raising a cabbage weighing nearly 40 pounds.
After Walter’s death in 1998, Darlene continued to live in southwest Iowa the majority of her remaining time. She lived in Heritage Park Apartments for several years before living with some of her children and also her granddaughter, Angie, in Kansas.
With continued failure to her health, she became a resident at Clearview Nursing Home in Mount Ayr in 2010 where the residents and staff there also became familiar with her sense of humor her family will never forget. She loved joking with all and she always related well with the younger children, even colored with them. In the last year grandchildren Kyle, Cameron, Kirsten, Courtney, Cenadie, Roshell, Harley, Sheila, Jeff, Taylor, Miranda, Patrick, Casey and Shaina became exceptionally close in her heart. Whoever she was to each of them, whether it be Mom or Grandma or other, she has always been easy to love and hard to give up.
Darlene lost her battle for life and passed from this earth on November 11, 2011 to become reunited with those gone before her. She leaves behind sister Gladys Locklar of Marina, California; children Ruth Faulkner of Saint Louis, Missouri, Regina Conklin of Mount Ayr, Iowa, Mary (Groves) Tripp of Des Moines, Iowa, Ed of Salem, Missouri, John and wife Deanna of Thayer, Iowa, Joella Groves and Jim Armstrong of Bulvere, Texas, Sonny and wife Kelly of Earlham, Iowa, Jimmy of Florida, Jerry of Kansas, Terry and wife Kathy of Afton, Iowa, Janie Young and husband Mike of Mount Ayr, Iowa and Ephram of Phoenix, Arizona.
Preceding her in death were her parents; brother, Sonny; sister, Ruth; son, Walter, Jr.; grandchildren, Timothy, Candace, Jessica, Jennifer and Elizabeth; great-grandson, Devon, and sons-in-law, Ivan Tull and Bob Conklin.
A memorial fund has been established to the family.
Services were held at Watson-Armstrong Funeral Home in Mount Ayr on Tuesday, November 15, 2011, with Rev. Rick Hawkins officiating. Musical selections were ‘Old Rugged Cross,’ ‘Amazing Grace,’ ‘I’ll Fly Away,’ ‘Until Forever’s Gone’ and ‘Universe.’
Casket bearers included Anthony Tull, Michael Groves, Scott Tripp, Nathan Groves, Nicholas Groves, Kyle Young, Cameron Young and Jeff Conklin.
Honorary pallbearers were Edward Groves, John Groves, Sonny Groves, Terry Groves and Jerry Groves.
Burial was in the Rose Hill Cemetery in Mount Ayr.