Obituary & Services: Betty Darlene James

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Betty Darlene James left this earth to be with her savior on Wednesday, January 25, 2023. Darlene (as she was known by her friends) was born on a farm near Lucerne, Missouri, on November 26, 1934, to John Hartley and Velma (Collins) Vorreiter. She married Hobart L. James on May 25, 1952, at the Powersville Christian Church, Powersville, Missouri. To this union, two children were born: Marla (Robert) Head of Pollock, Missouri, and Marty (Paula) James of Boonville, Missouri.

Darlene attended grade school at the Central City one-room schoolhouse east of Lucerne, High School at Lucerne for two years before it closed, and graduated from Newtown-Harris High School in 1952. After her marriage to Hobart, they lived in Washington, D.C. for approximately 3½ years while Hobart was serving in the Army. Both Hobart and Darlene worked at the Pentagon. They moved back to Missouri after Hobart’s tour of duty was over and they purchased Hobart’s grandfather Charley James’ farm Southeast of Lucerne and began a farming career. In their early farming career, Hobart and Darlene had a Dairy Farm and Darlene worked tirelessly washing the milking equipment twice each day. After they sold the dairy cows, Darlene started raising broiler chickens and puppies. During the summer, she would often dress a chicken every day for lunch, sometimes dressing two. They retired in 1993 and moved to Milan, Missouri, where Darlene still lived at the time of her death.

After meeting Hobart, Darlene was baptized into Christ and at the time of her death was a member of the Pollock Church of Christ. Darlene was a devoted homemaker and loved to work with her garden and flowers. She kept her home immaculate and was a great cook. She made angel food cakes from scratch during strawberry season as she loved strawberries and raised them in her garden. When the children were young, she liked making a cake at Easter shaped like a rabbit. In later years, she enjoyed spending time with and going to music shows and community events with her good friend, Earl Fast of Millard, Missouri.

Darlene was preceded in death by her parents, her husband (who died October 2, 1994), a brother Edsel Vorreiter, sisters Barbara Fortune and Linda Swan, a sister-in-law Delores Vorreiter, and brothers-in-law Jim Fortune, Jim Hill, Frank King, and Claud Swan. She is survived by her children; Marla and Marty and their spouses Robert and Paula; 5 grandchildren: Thomas (Karen) Head of Green City, Missouri; Angela (Charles) Yedlik of Muscatine, Iowa; Bradley (Shara) Head of Corydon, Iowa; Adrienne James of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Caleb (Taryn) James of Kansas City, Missouri; 3 great-grandchildren, Garrett Yedlik, Ryan & Caitlyn Head; sisters Phyllis Hill of Marshalltown, Iowa and Shelda King of San Bernardino, California, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Services will be held at the Playle and Collins Funeral Home at 10:00 am on Tuesday, January 31, 2023. Visitation will be from 5:00 – 7:00 pm on Monday, January 30, with interment at the Lucerne Cemetery, Lucerne, MO. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made payable to Pollock Church of Christ, Lucerne Cemetery Association, or Young at Heart Resources, memo: Respite donation. These may be entrusted to Playle & Collins Family Funeral Home, 709 S. 27th, Unionville, MO 63565.

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