Drusch, Darlene Marie (Smith) 80

Darlene Marie (Smith) Drusch, age 80 of Howard Lake, passed away peacefully at her home on June 3, 2019 surrounded by her family.

She lived her entire life in or near Howard Lake. She was born September 19, 1938 in Minneapolis to Louis and Etta (Gebhardt) Smith. She had one brother, Gerald, and was raised on the family farm in Middleville Township.

Darlene was baptized on September 29, 1938 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Waverly and confirmed May 10, 1964 at St. James Lutheran Church in Howard Lake. She graduated from Howard Lake High School in 1956. She was a longtime member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Winsted and most recently, at St. John’s Lutheran Church of Buffalo.

In 1963, Darlene wed Donald Drusch, and they were married for 16 years. Together they raised six children: Steve, Connie and Joe (stepchildren), and three children together: Debbie, Danny, and Donna.

She worked for several years as a cook at Howard Lake High School and then worked at a local direct mail company for over two decades.

Darlene will be remembered for her love of family, always lending a helping hand, and her love of music. She especially loved guitar and piano and played in a polka band for many years. In her retirement, she loved to spend her mornings going for coffee with friends, gardening, solving word search puzzles, traveling to Colorado to see family, and going to flea markets and garage sales to find the best deal.

She is survived by her children: Donna (Steve) Gatz of Howard Lake, Danny Drusch of Woodland Park, CO and Debbie (Michael) Vialpando of Colorado Springs, CO; nine grandchildren: Laura (Nathan) Robinson of Delano, Krystal (Justin) Scheibel of Minneapolis, Brandon (Kassie) Gatz of Hutchinson, Michael (Kimberly) Vialpando of Colorado Springs, CO, Kaitlyn (Trevor) Goldberg of Colorado Springs, CO, Jaime Vialpando and Jordan Vialpando of Colorado Springs, CO; Bailey Gatz and Heather Gatz of Howard Lake; and two beloved great-grandchildren: Lily Robinson and Paul Gatz. She is further survived by her brother, Gerald (Maggie) Smith of Waverly.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Louis and Etta Smith.

A celebration of Darlene’s life will take place on Monday, June 10, 2019 at the Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home in Howard Lake. Visitation will be from 2-4pm with a service at 4pm. The service will be officiated by Pastor Ryan Clark of St. John’s Buffalo, with special music by Bruce Gatz and Kay Knutson. Internment will be a private ceremony with family at a future date.