- August 16, 2022
Darlene O’Malley of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, passed peacefully at home on Aug. 13, 2022. By her side was William (“Bill”), her husband of 65 years, best friend, and dutiful co-adventurer in life. She was the gravitational center of a sprawling family, combining an enormous heart with a crackling wit. She was a singular and memorable person who loved ice cream and lobster; told a wicked joke; and was open-minded and open-hearted in her love.
Darlene loved Bill and shared with him a storybook marriage. From the moment they met, they started a conversation that never stalled and never stopped making each other laugh. They complemented each other perfectly – Darlene with her warmth and spark, Bill with patience and quiet strength – and each took doting care of the other. They were married on Sept. 15, 1956, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Darlene had a seemingly endless capacity for care, including as a committed member of her church, a loyal friend, and supportive sister, but no role delighted her more than being the mother, grandmother and great-grandmother of her large and raucous family. She had the gift of making every child feel seen, understood and remembered; was a masterful card player; and was generous with cookies and treats. She remembered every birthday and celebrated every milestone and occasion with a perfectly chosen card, sent to arrive on time. She loved holidays and for decades cooked and hosted Thanksgiving dinner for her extended family and any loved ones who needed a place to go.
In addition to Bill, Darlene is grieved by her five children, Mike O’Malley (Julie), Patrick O’Malley (Doreen), Stacy McElmeel (Mike), Keith O’Malley and Matt O’Malley (Michele); 11 grandchildren, Leah, Jordan, Angela, Keely, Ashley, Drew, Conor, Shea, Brianna, Grayson and Declan; and seven great-grandchildren. She also is mourned by her sisters, Joan and Dorothy.
Darlene was born in Waukon, Iowa, the second of seven children to James and Luella (Kilpatrick) Drew. She attended country school through eighth grade and graduated from St. Patrick’s High School in Waukon, Iowa, in 1952.
She was preceded in death by her parents; four brothers, Donnie, Walter, Ralph and John Drew; and a grandson, Quin O’Malley.
Visitation: Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Cedar Memorial Park Funeral Home. Funeral Mass will be offered at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 19, 2022, at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The family will greet visitors at the church starting an hour before the service begins. Interment following at Mount Calvary Cemetery.
Please leave a message for the family on our webpage www.cedarmemorial.com under obituaries.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Pius X Catholic Church, St. Matthew Catholic Church or Arc of Eastern Iowa.