Darlene was born November 2, 1926 at Gifford, Idaho to Leo and Edith Waterer Messinger. She grew up on the family farm in the Cottonwood Creek area and attended elementary grades at the Magpie School. She then went to Culdesac where she graduated from high school. Darlene enrolled in the nursing program at Lewiston Normal School (now LCSC).
Darlene and Dan McKenzie were married on January 6, 1945 at Seattle while he was in the Navy. Following Mr. McKenzie’s discharge from the service in 1946, they made their home on Cottonwood Creek until October of 1952 when they moved to a farm near Troy. They farmed in the Dry Creek area all of their lives. She was a member of the Order of Eastern Star and Daughters of the Nile and attended the Bovill Community Presbyterian Church. They wintered in Arizona for many years beginning in 1972 and attended the Happy Trails Fellowship in Phoenix. She enjoyed crocheting and was an accomplished trap-shooter. She held the Idaho State Ladies championship from 1966-1989, and was one of the first women to shoot competitively.
Mr. McKenzie died in November of 2003 and she continued to live on the farm until 2009 when she moved to Clark House in Moscow and in 2012 to Whitman Senior Living Center in Pullman.
Surviving are her children, Daniel (Gloria) McKenzie of Troy, Donna Bigford of Moscow, Jeanie (Tony) Glaser of Troy and Debbie (Steve) Kirkland of Troy. She also leaves 13 grandchildren; Jeremy Bigford, Tiffany (Robert) Bentley, Lacey (Kyle) Meredith, Bradley (Nancy) Bigford, Brandon Bigford, Deborah McKenzie, Devin (Tammy) McKenzie, Darin (Sheena) McKenzie, Tammy (Jeff) Iverson, Patricia (Randy) Cheyne, Alicia (Shawn) Blacker, Steve (Melissa) Kirkland and Lindy (Guy) Wells along with 22 great grandchildren and 3 great great grandchildren.
In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by a grandson, Daniel Scott McKenzie in 1976, a sister, Betty Jo Storey and a brother, Leo “John” Messinger, Jr.
The funeral service will be held Thursday, February 26th at 1:00 P.M. at Short’s Funeral Chapel in Moscow with family friend, Lee Horning officiating. Burial will follow at Dry Creek Cemetery.
The family suggests memorials be made to the Troy-Deary Gun Club.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Short’s Funeral Chapel, Moscow, and online condolences may be sent to www.shortsfuneralchapel.net.