After losing her father at the age of 15, Darlene did not have the time to participate in activities during her high school years at North Central. During those years, she worked at the Polly Anna Bakery on North Division Street to help support her family.
After graduating from North Central, Darlene went to airline school. She worked in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, at Collins Radio in the aeronautical switching board center, and then moved to Chicago to work at Aeronautical Radio. She later moved back to Spokane after meeting her husband Jim during a trip back home.
Hired in a clerical position by the Spokane School District, Darlene worked as a substitute for three months before taking a long-term substitute position at North Central H.S. When the school’s guidance secretary resigned, Darlene joined the North Central office staff full time.
She served as the school’s Guidance Secretary for 22 years before being promoted to Office Manager, a position she held for 16 years until her retirement in 2017. She was honored as the Spokane Schools “Distinguished Classified Employee of the Year” in 2010.
After working on the planning committee for North Central H.S.’s 100th anniversary celebration in 2008, Darlene joined the governing Council for the newly formed North Central H.S. Alumni Association. As caretaker of the association’s membership list, for many years she performed the indispensable work of collecting dues, keeping accurate data on over 500 members, and sending out the association’s quarterly newsletter to members, both by email and by U.S. Mail.