Akkerman-Ingebrand • Mora, MN

Rock-Ingebrand • Braham, MN

Mora, MN • 320-679-1933

Braham, MN • 320-396-2121



Darlene Olson, of Mora, passed away on Friday, December 16, 2016 at her home in Mora.  She was 72 years old.

FUNERAL SERVICE will be held at 11:00 am on Thursday, December 22, 2016 at the Calvary Lutheran Church in Mora with Rev Dean Oelfke officiating.

VISITATION will be held from 5-7 pm on Wednesday, December 21st at the Akkerman Ingebrand Funeral Home and 1 hour prior to the service at the church on Thursday.

INTERMENT will be in the Oakwood Cemetery in Mora.

MEMORIALS are preferred in lieu of flowers to the CJD Foundation (https://www.cjdfoundation.org/donate)

Darlene Lois Gustafson-Olson passed away peacefully at her home on Friday, December 16, 2016. She was 72 years old.

How does someone even begin to sum up her life, and to do so within the confines of a few paragraphs? It would start like this….To know Darlene, is to love Darlene.

In 1944, Darlene was born in Albert Lea MN to Alvin & Lila (Olson) Moen. She was the 2nd of 3 siblings with an older brother Richard and younger brother Dean. The family moved to Mora in 1958. Darlene graduated from Mora High School in 1962.

Darlene was married in 1964 to Herbert Dennis Gustafson. The happy couple moved to Hopkins and they were blessed with two children, Daniel Herbert and Debra Ann. They moved to Mora where Darlene worked nights at Fingerhut and Denny commuted to Minneapolis working construction. Tragedy hit the family in 1974 when Denny was killed in a car accident. Darlene raised her 2 kids alone and pursued a career serving the community working at Kanabec Agency earning her CISR designation in 1976. She continued to work at the agency, now known as Town & Country Agency until her Medical Leave in the summer of 2016.

In 1983, Darlene married Jerry A Olson and they remained in Mora and began to work on their home away from home, which was their Knife Lake property. Her passion was her trusty Toro mower, she loved the many hours she would spend mowing the property in preparation for spending time with the family and friends at what was affectionately called the “campground”. After 19 years of marriage, tragedy hit Darlene again when her beloved husband Jerry died suddenly of a heart attack.

Darlene was blessed to find love one more time with Dave Altman. Over the past 6 years, they have traveled around the country visiting family and friends, and continued to enjoy spending time at the campground, and spent countless hours talking and being best friends. Dave remained by her side until she passed.

Anyone that knew Darlene knew her love for high heel shoes, colorful attire, coordinating accessories and matching outfits especially in all shades of purple. Darlene earned her legacy name of being the Purple Shoe Lady.

Darlene was meticulous when it came to details and being organized. Everything has a place and every place had to be organized. She was also a woman of lists: menu lists, bills to pay list, to-do list, monthly budget list, grocery list, Christmas list, the lake to-do list, and the favorite Debby Do list.

Darlene was a woman with vivacious personality, and abundance of love, a wonderful mother, devoted grandmother, and caring friend. She was a woman who loved deeply and was loved just as deeply by many. We will miss her dearly.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Dean, and husbands Dennis and Jerry.

Darlene is survived by her children, Dan (Julie) and Debra; stepchildren, Wendy (Tim) and Cindy; grandchildren, Jake, Scot, Matthew and Marc; brother Richard (Beverly); nephews, nieces, and other relatives and friends.


9 thoughts on “DARLENE L. OLSON”

  1. So very sad to have lost one of my best friends. My best to Debbie, Dan and the rest of Darlene’s family.

  2. We were neighbors of Darlene when we lived in Mora and I thought of her as one of my best friends. We had many coffee parties and camping trips that I will never forget. I felt so fortunate to be able to re-connect with her while she was in rehab in Bloomington after her hip surgery. It was so fun to visit with her and we would laugh, remembering the old days when our kids were little. That was the end of August and she seemed like the old Darlene I knew. So hard to believe that she would be gone so soon. Thank you Debbie and Danny for the great party you had for her while she could still see friends and family. Will always remember that day, and also, Thank you Debbie for being such a wonderful daughter to your mother and for keeping me posted. Please come to us if you ever need anything. We are not that far away from you. Love you both, Marilyn and Merlin Smith

  3. Debbie, Dan, Julie & boys – We are so very sorry for the loss of your mom, mother-in-law and grandma. I had the pleasure of knowing Darlene and seeing her many times over the past 20 years at your various family functions. The speed at which this disease took her away is shocking to say the least. However, hopefully you can find peace with the fact she is not suffering any longer.

    Our love and prayers are with your entire family during this sad time and for the days, months & years to come, as you grieve her loss.

    All our Love,
    Lee & Gina Wiebenga

  4. I say in celebration of Darlene life, I’m so blessed to have had her in my life. I will forever hold you dear in my heart. I enjoyed my time with you and Debra at the lake and your home. You always treated me with kindness and love. I always enjoyed the wonderful meals after a hard days work. The holidays we spent together are cherished. I will forever love you Darlene.

  5. Our prayers and love are with all family and friends of Darlene.We got to know Darlene through Dave Altman,my brother.We spent time together on Holidays,Christmas.She was a joy to be with. All our love Bonnie and Mike Balcik and Altman family.

  6. It is so hard to understand that Darlene has left us , She was so full of life and always so very Beautiful ,She brought so much class with her no matter where ever she was .
    Our family will miss her with all of our hearts
    Love and will never forget you
    Red Fredrickson

  7. Darlene was a wonderful woman! Every time I seen her she would ask ,have you heard from ” Tripper”? She understood the challenges of that relationship, but she never gave up hope ! I just loved gabbing with her ,prayers to her family at this time..I wear purple today,in her memory.

  8. Dan and I got to know Darlene through Dave. We got to spend lots of time together, she was a great woman with a great personality and a zest for life. We will miss her very much. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.
    All our Love and deepest sympathy.

  9. My deepest sympathy to you, Dan and Deb. Your mom had such a warm and loving heart and bright personality. So sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

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