Darlene Hanson and her husband Ken – together since first grade


Darlene Mackey Hanson (1931-2023)

Darlene Mackey Hanson, 91, grew up in South Beloit, WI. She was born on October 17, 1931 in Beloit to parents Louise and Lloyd Mackey

Darlene met her future husband Ken Hanson when they started first grade together and both graduated from South Beloit High School in 1949.

The couple were married on February 24,1951. They were parents of two children, Darla and David.

Darlene passed away on March 22, 2023, in Lincolnshire Place, Loves Park, IL, after a long and courageous journey with dementia.

Darlene worked at Freeman Shoe Company, the Beloit Corporation, and in real estate working for a local agency in the area. 

Darlene also worked alongside her husband. Ken was a pattern maker and, on the side, built houses. Darlene's part of the job was to decorate the interior, and then sell the homes they built together.

They became equal partners when they purchased the pattern shop where Ken worked and successfully ran Beloit Pattern Works for many years.

As they grew older, Darlene and Ken wanted to move where the weather was warmer. They settled in Vero Beach, Florida, and spent most of the year between Rockton and Florida.

Darlene was a fun-loving person. She never passed up a good time She loved to be around people. She enjoyed playing golf and card games of all kinds, especially bridge and euchre. Darlene also loved traveling and going out with friends and family.

The family would like to give a special thanks to a dear friend, Terry Schrupp, who took great care of Darlene while she was living in Rockton. “Your time spent with her was greatly appreciated.” “We would also like to thank all of the wonderful and compassionate people at Lincolnshire Place. Darlene was a proud, independent and strong-willed person to the very end. We are so grateful she was able to live out the end of her life with dignity and pride. It is comforting to know she is now at peace and free of dementia.”

Darlene was a devoted daughter, wife, mother, grandmother and friend. She was dearly loved and will be greatly missed.

She is survived by daughter Darla (Dennis) Stearns, grandsons Devin Stearns and Colin (Missy) Stearns, great granddaughter Olivia Stearns. Darlene was predeceased by her husband, son David Hanson, her parents, and infant brother Donald Mackey. To honor her wishes, there will be no funeral or service. A private Christian burial was held.

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