Darlene Matilda Swallow Whitlock, beloved daughter, wife, sister, aunt, friend, drew her last breath on this beautiful earth, Thursday, November 19, 2015, in the company of her dear nieces and nephews. Born November 21, 1921, in Mayfield, Utah, she was the youngest child of Richard Thomas Swallow and Matilda Elizabeth Mortenson. Reared on her parents’ towering Mr. Wheeler and Snake Range, she attended schools in Spring Valley, Ely, and Panaca, Nevada, and graduated from high school in Manti, Utah, where she met her future husband, Lee C Whitlock. Lee and “Toots,” as he lovingly called her, were wed in Pioche, Nevada, on May 3, 1942. (Their marriage was later solemnized in the Provo Utah LDS Temple.)
Darlene and Lee commenced their married life in Mayfield. They soon relocated to the Swallow Ranch, where Lee loved his horses and wrangling cattle. He was the best! Darlene kept the home fires burning (literally , in a small log cabin on the ranch). She also served as Postmaster and later as a postal worker in Baker, NV. For many years, she was also an election judge.
After the tragic death of Lee’s sister-in-law, Darlene and Lee reared his nephew, Lawrence Merrill, to the age of three, forming a life-long bond with him. Although they were not blessed with children of their own, she and Lee were the beloved aunt and uncle of all their siblings’ children, and second parents and grandparents to many of us. Darlene, forever welcoming, expressed her love to all in many ways: cooking delicious meals, providing a home away from home, teaching us to play cards and other games, always willing to keep us entertained and well fed. She had a great sense of humor and we cherished her wonderful laugh. She was our favorite aunt – remembered all our birthdays, listened to our concerns and joys, rejoiced and sorrowed with us, and took interest in the children of her nieces and nephews. Besides maintaining gardens and flowering yards, she, at times, rode horses with Lee, helping with his work as well as accompanying him on all his rodeo and team roping adventures. In 1966, Lee and Darlene leased the Dearden Ranch in Garrison, UT. In 1975, Lee transferred to the Baker Ranch in Baker, NV, where he worked up to his last day, at age 91. Darlene and Lee celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary before his passing.Darlene held callings in the Garrison LDS Branch for 45 years, fulfilling her duties with great care and ability, even servicing as Young Women’s and Primary counselors in her late 80’s. She loved the branch and the members loved her. Anyone in need? Darlene and Lee to the rescue, whether it be family or friends; always caring for and loving others. Certainly the most generous couple we know.
After Lee’s passing in 2011, Darlene lived with her niece, Glenda Egbert and husband, Larry, in Woodland Hills, UT. In June, aging took over. She resided in the Beehive Home in Salem, UT, where she was well cared for by a sweet and caring staff, as well as wonderful Canyon Hospice nurses and aides, during her last days.
She is preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Lee; her sister, Golden Johnson; and her brothers: George, Richard, and Arlo Swallow; as well as five nephews.
Darlene’s funeral service is Saturday, November 28, 2015, at 12 Noon, at the Woodland Hills LDS Church, 220 South Woodland Hills Drive, Woodland Hills, UT (near the roundabout). Visitation for family and friends is from 10:45-11:45 a.m. that day at the church prior to services. Burial will be the following week in the Garrison, UT cemetery, where there will be the dedication of her grave and an informal memorial at the adjacent LDS Church – time and date to be announced.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.walkerobits.com