The memorial service will be Dec. 14.

Darlene Twilight Charron, 90, a longtime Crookston, Minn. resident, died early Monday morning, December 10, 2012, at the RiverView Care Center in Crookston. Darlene had been making her home with her daughter and son-in-law, Kathleen and Mark Christopherson, at Maple Lake, near Mentor, Minn., for the past 8 years. Her health had been in decline recently and she had become a resident of the nursing home just a few weeks ago.    

Darlene was born at Crookston on February 19, 1922, the daughter of Charles and Bertha (Radke) Reitmeier. She was baptized and confirmed at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church and was a lifetime member. Darlene attended Crookston Public Schools and graduated from Central High School with the Class of 1940. The Class had held their 72nd reunion this past summer. Darlene was united in marriage to Emil Charron on March 15, 1946 in Crookston, where the couple made their home all their married lives. Their marriage was blessed by the births of three children: Kathleen, Kent, and Kristy Ruth. Sadly, Kristy died in infancy. While raising her family, Darlene also worked for a number of years as a secretary for the Crookston Police Department. In 1970 she began her career as a secretary with the HRI Department at the University of Minnesota, Crookston. She was a constant source of inspiration and counsel to the faculty and students in the department, and had the pleasure of working with them until her retirement in 1991. During these years she was also known to open her home to students in need of a place to live.  As evidence of the regard in which she was held, the Darlene Charron Scholarship was established by the U of M, Crookston and has been given annually to a deserving student enrolled in HRI.

On May 8, 1974 Emil passed away, leaving Darlene to carry on without him for the next 38 years. Darlene’s devotion to Our Savior’s Lutheran Church extended to the Ladies Aid, and in her younger years, teaching Sunday school.  She was very active in Crookston’s American Legion Auxiliary. She held various offices in the organization, and her 60+ years of membership was without equal.  In her younger days, Darlene was a Bluebird and Cub Scout leader, and for many years bowled in the local Women’s League. Along with friends, she helped to deliver Meals on Wheels. She enjoyed flower gardening with her mother, and every Memorial Day would decorate the graves of her family members, bringing the plants home to her garden after the weekend. Darlene enjoyed reading, and having coffee at RBJ’s Restaurant every morning with friends until she was no longer able to drive. She especially treasured the special times spent at Maple Lake with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.  May God richly bless Darlene’s memory.

Grateful to have shared in Darlene’s life are her daughter and son-in-law, Kathleen and Mark Christopherson of Maple Lake, Mentor; son and daughter-in-law, Kent and Mary Charron of Edina, Minn.; 3 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren: Jody Brown and her son, Charlie, of Bloomington, Ind., Michael Christopherson and wife, Michelle, and their sons, Ethan and Trey, of Crookston, and Caitlin Bergh and husband, Greg, of Oakdale, Minn.; sister-in-law, Judy Reitmeier Webster and husband, Wendell, of McIntosh, Minn.;  and several nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends. In addition to her husband, Emil, and daughter, Kristy Ruth, Darlene was preceded in death by her parents; a brother, Charles; and twin sisters, Alvira and Almira.   

The memorial service for Darlene Charron will be held at 10:30 a.m., Friday, December 14, 2012, at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Crookston, with The Rev. Steve Bohler, officiating. There will be a visitation with the family at the Stenshoel-Houske Funeral Home on Thursday from 5-7 p.m., with a 7 p.m. prayer service, and also at the church for one hour prior to the funeral. Inurnment will be in the Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston, in the spring. Online registry:

Darlene's family requests that, in lieu of flowers, memorials be made in Darlene's name to your favorite charity, or to Our Savior's Lutheran Church or the American Legion Auxiliary.