In memory of

Darlene Wollesen

April 19, 1932 - June 16, 2024
From: Lake View, IA
Darlene Wollesen

Darlene Wollesen

Born: April 19, 1932
Died: June 16, 2024
Age: 92
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   Darlene Wollesen, age 92 of Lake View, IA, passed away peacefully on Saturday, June 15, 2024, at Black Hawk Life Care Center in Lake View. Darlene Joan Mohr was born on April 19, 1932, to parents George and Lillian (Wenck) Mohr in Lake City, IA. She was baptized in the Lutheran Church in Ulmer, IA. She grew up on a farm in Ulmer and attended Sac No. 1 Country School and then Coon Valley Township No. 1 Country School through the eighth grade. Darlene then attended Lake View High School where she graduated from in 1950.
   Darlene spoke fondly of her childhood. Despite all of the hard work –driving horses in the hay fields, feeding chickens, collecting eggs, carrying in firewood and cobs for the stove, carrying in water for drinking, herding sheep, sweeping troughs out, etc. – she loved her life on the farm. She was especially close to her father and wanted to go everywhere he went. He taught her so much in his short time here on earth. When Darlene was just sixteen years old, George passed away in a farming accident. In Darlene’s own words “My world collapsed…my Dad, my buddy, was gone.” Darlene was also very close to her Grandma Mohr who lived just over the hill from them. She walked to her place daily and usually came home with fresh baked cinnamon rolls or other kinds of goodies.
   On September 3, 1950, Darlene married Merlin Earl Wollesen, her high school sweetheart. This union was blessed with three children, Robert, Becky, and William. At the beginning of their marriage, they lived by the lake for a few months before moving to Darlene’s mother’s farm by Auburn where they raised Black Angus cattle. They then lived in a trailer home for a while in order to help and be closer to Merlin’s mother after his father passed away. Merlin and Darlene moved to their current address, which is just across the road from where they raised their children, in the mid 70’s. Merlin moved to Twilight Acres  where he lived for two years before his passing in 2017. Darlene was still living at home with the help of family, a few close friends and caretakers.
   Merlin and Darlene started in the cattle business raising Black Angus, then switched to dairy cows and ran a milk route. They got away from raising dairy cattle and moved to registered Shorthorns. This led the children to 4H and showing at cattle shows and meant Merlin and Darlene must attend cattle sales.  They started at the bottom and went and watched, listened, and learned from other cattlemen. They had good help from herdsmen at the Iowa State Fair. Their highest honor being received at the International in Denver, CO. The family also attended and showed in Missouri, Minnesota, Chicago, and at the Iowa State Fair, as well as at the Wall Lake Farm Festival, Sac County Fair, and the Clay County Fair in Spencer. Darlene was a member of the Lassies and was the Iowa Shorthorn President. She was honored “Lassie of the Year” in 1972. Showing cattle kept them on the go for many years but they loved every minute of doing it together as a family. They were honored at the Iowa State Fair for a Century Farm Award and had a wagon with horses in Lake View’s Centennial Parade for this honor. 
   Darlene also found the time to serve in her community and church. She was the secretary of the Ladies Aid for eight years, was a Sunday school teacher, and served as chairperson on many committees. She always looked forward to the “Tapestry of Tables” church event and enjoyed serving on the decorating committee. She always attended her children’s events and later on, her grandchildren’s; she was so supportive.
   With their children grown, Darlene and Merlin enjoyed trips to Hawaii, Mexico, Florida, Washington D.C. and the Boston area. They both loved staying at bed and breakfasts during their travels. The two of them also played cards on a regular basis and gathered at other couple’s homes for card club often. Darlene was an avid Hawkeye fan right alongside Merlin. They watched the games together and wore their Hawkeye attire each time. Most recently, Darlene enjoyed watching Caitlin Clark’s college career as a Hawkeye basketball player.
   Darlene enjoyed many things such as going to garage sales, antique shopping, collecting dolls, going to tearooms and on shopping trips with her friends, and she loved planting flowers every spring and caring for them throughout the summer. She liked a well-kept yard/farm and hers was always just that.
   She shared so much about her life from the time she was little up until just recently, on paper. At the bottom of one of the pages she wrote: “Don’t forget to love your God and share always. All things are possible with God’s greatness. Remember Mission Central and our mission to tell others about God’s love.” What a testament of who she was and will forever be remembered as in our hearts.  
   Darlene is survived by her children, Robert (Jan) Wollesen of MN, Bill (Kris) Wollesen of Lake View, and son-in-law Jack Moorhouse of Owensboro, KY; grandchildren: Jennifer (Jake) Buksar of Jacksonville, FL, Nathan (Mary) Moorhouse of Owensboro, KY, Mike (Nicole) Moorhouse of Valparaiso, IN, Crystal (Justin) Cecka of Minneapolis, MN, Heather (Matt) Kennedy of Madison, WI, Holly Wollesen of Chicago, IL, John Wollesen of Lake View, and  Kara and Jill Wollesen of Lake View; several great-grandchildren; sister LaVerna Schoneboom of Lake City, IA; special friends/caretakers Peggy Domino and Gail Eischeid both of Lake View;  many nieces, nephews, other extended family members and friends.
   She was preceded in death by her husband of sixty-six years, Merlin Wollesen (2017); daughter Becky Moorhouse; parents George and Lillian Mohr; stepdad Tony Buse; brother-in-law Eldo Schoneboom; parents-in-law Carl and Eleanor Wollesen; stepfather-in-law Dick Ritzman; sister-in-law Phyllis Wollesen; brother-in-law Dale Wollesen; and nephew Ron Schoneboom.
   Darlene’s family would like to give special thanks to Peggy Domino for the wonderful care she gave to Darlene which allowed her to stay in her home the past six years. They became very close friends and Darlene thought the world of her. She also enjoyed spending time with Peggy’s adorable granddaughter, Nova. Special thanks to Gail Eischeid for always being there for Darlene as well. She enjoyed outings with her and considered her a dear friend.





Tribute Video
Private Family Funeral Service
Friday, June 21, 2024
Emmanuel Lutheran church
Lake View, Iowa
Reverend Don E. Peterson III
Public Visitation
4:30-6:30 p.m., Thursday
June 20, 2024
Farber & Otteman Funeral Home
Lake View, Iowa
Wall Lake Cemetery
Wall Lake, Iowa


Friday, June 21, 2024 at 1:46 PM
“We are so deeply sorry for your loss! Darlene was such a sweet woman and I enjoyed putting her dolls on "display" at the library for her! She will be missed by all who loved her and cherished her beautiful smile!”
- Mike & LuAnn Norris
Thursday, June 20, 2024 at 10:51 AM
“Deepest Sympathy to the family.”
- Mike & K'Lee Naberhaus
Tuesday, June 18, 2024 at 9:13 AM
“I always delivered Darlene's mail up to her door. Lots of times I'd stop in and visit. She was so fun and extremely proud of her family. My condolences to the family. ”
- Tom Lake
Tuesday, June 18, 2024 at 9:13 AM
“Deepest condolences to Darlene's family. Always enjoyed visiting with her. She was an amazing lady.RIP Darlene 🙏🙏🙏”
- Teresa Drilling
Tuesday, June 18, 2024 at 9:13 AM
“My sister, Margaret Manuel Scott, and Darlene were good friends. Of course I knew her also. My sympathy to Darlene's family.”
- Lois Manuel Long
Tuesday, June 18, 2024 at 9:13 AM
“Our deepest condolences to the family. It was a pleasure meeting Darlene at Mike & Nikki's wedding. We kept in touch with letters through the holidays. She was a delight to meet and a spunky personality that made everyone laugh. She will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you during this difficult time. May Darlene Rest in Peace. ”
- Tom & Nette Tugman
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