Darleen June Peterson, the daughter of Dorothy Darleen (Neill) and Vern Wilmarth, was born June 23, 1937, in rural Adams County. Darleen attended school in Douglas No. 6 (first through eighth grade) and high school in Corning (home of the Red Raiders). She was honored as homecoming queen her senior year. During her senior year she also took the job as secretary of soil conservation, graduating in the spring of 1954.
After working two years she married her high school sweetheart, John Dean Curtis, June 5, 1955, at Corning Methodist Church. They were members of the Maple Grove Methodist Church and they resided on a farm 13 miles southwest of Corning. They had two daughters Lorri Lynn Curtis and Kimberly Kae Curtis.
In 1963, Dean passed away. Darleen and the girls moved to Creston and later sold the farm. They resided in Creston for one year.
Darleen and the girls were reunited with Roswell “Ros” G. Peterson, a school friend of Darleen. He fell in love with all three girls and he and Darleen were united in marriage at Strand Lutheran Church, Feb. 23, 1964. They resided southwest of Corning (Okey Farm). To this union, three sons were born: Lloyd Lynn, Jamie Glen and Chad Roswell.
Ros and Darleen purchased a farm east of Lenox. They started a floral and gift shop in Lenox in 1972 and a second store in Corning a few years later. On Jan. 11, 1999, Roswell passed away. Darleen remained on the farm having sold both floral and gift shops. She took a job at Creston Hy-Vee working in the greenhouse and later working as a cashier.
There she met Hyatt L. Rice and they were married in Las Vegas, March 17, 2003. Hyatt and Darleen split their time between Texas and their new home in Creston, spending six months in each location. Darleen had undertaken many jobs and had many accomplishments throughout her life. She was a floral designer for 30 years and enjoyed raising and nurturing her flowers. Darleen enjoyed singing and being the “Jam Host,” welcoming people to the dances and shows at Quiet Village II in Donna, Texas, for three years.
After moving back to Iowa full time, they enjoyed the Chicken Inn on Wednesday nights. Darleen enjoyed singing and dancing. For all her accomplishments, Darleen’s greatest joy in life was raising her family.
Hyatt and Darleen eventually moved to Vintage Park in Lenox. They hated to leave their home and wonderful bunch of friends (their “second” family), but this new adventure was an enjoyable one for them and their dog, Misty.
Left to cherish Darleen’s memory are her children: Kim (John) Weatherhead, Jacksonville, Florida; Lynn Peterson, Des Moines; Jamie Peterson, Lenox; Chad Peterson, Lenox; six grandchildren: Leslie (Kate) Revaux, Joshua (fiancé Erin) Weatherhead, Matthew (fiancé Maria) Weatherhead, Kristen Weatherhead, Jacob Peterson and Carter Peterson; two great-grandchildren: Fitz Revaux and Adelaide Revaux; son-in-law James Juarez, Omaha, Nebraska; brother Harold Wilmarth, Maryville, Missouri; sister Pauline McCoy, Creston; several nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends;
Preceding Darleen in death were her husbands: Dean Curtis, Roswell Peterson, Hyatt Rice; parents; daughter Lorri Juarez; brother Neill Wilmarth; brother-in-law Bob McCoy; two sisters-in-law Donna Wilmarth and Joy Wilmarth.
Family visitation will be 10 a.m with service to follow at 10:30 a.m. June 12, 2021, at First Christian Church, 301 E. Townline Road in Creston. A private interment of ashes will take place at a later date.
Memorial contributions may be directed to the Beautification of Main Street in Lenox.