Darlene Frances Robarge, 91 of Alpena, MI passed away on Saturday, August 20th, 2022 at Davison Care Home surrounded by her loved ones. Darlene was born on October 14, 1930 in Alpena to Frances and Lloyd Skiba. Darlene was a lifelong resident of Alpena, never dreaming of another location other than her journey to her resting place in heaven surrounded by the Lord she loves, God’s beauty and the family and friends that have moved on before her.
As a child, Darlene enjoyed her days with her siblings and family. As a young girl and the second oldest in the family, she was often trusted with the task of caring for her younger siblings. Darlene often spoke about visiting her grandparents that lived next to the railroad tracks in Polaski, MI. She often spoke of her teenage years – enjoying time with girlfriends, taking part in school plays, her most memorable being the lead actor in Joan of Arc. She was a cheerleader for St. Anne Catholic High School and a member of the Queens Court during one of Alpena’s memorable Winterfest celebrations.
Darlene, graduated from St. Anne Catholic High School in 1948. She immediately started her career at The Alpena News, where she eventually retired as Circulation Manager in 1992. As Circulation Manager, not only was she responsible for assuring the local news was delivered to your doorstep, she had the pleasure of giving hundreds of young boys and girls their very first job as news carriers.
On March 22, 1952 at St. Anne Catholic Church, Darlene married her high school sweetheart and classmate, Robert Lee Robarge. Darlene continued her career at The Alpena News, while she and Bob raised their family. Darlene had an abundance of love for her children, grandchildren, and eventually great grandchildren. Throughout her life she was often a regular on the sidelines of football, basketball, soccer, hockey, and baseball games. Darlene loved sports and supporting her children and grandchildren. She loved her children and grandchildren and would do anything she could for them, often wanting to do more than she was able. Darlene loved flowers and spending time in her flower garden, making her famous apple pies in the fall (often up to 50), spending family Sundays at the Robarge family cottage and the Skiba family cabin and was an avid Detroit Tigers fan.
Darlene was a member of All Saints Catholic Parish, All Saints Rosary Society, a founding member of the Aid by The Dozen Group 2, and a member of the Alpena Zonta Club. Darlene volunteered a great amount of time with the Alpena Boosters Club, in which Bob was a member.
Like any married couple, Darlene and Bob looked forward to their retirement years. However, after Bob’s passing in January of 1988, Darlene had to rethink the process of how she would spend her retirement years. She soon discovered she would be taking daily walks with friends, weekly dinners out with friends, occasional trips to the casino, and even a few winters in Florida. Instead of focusing on these highlights in her retirement, she felt most fulfilled by using her retirement days caring for her mother, and helping her children with her grandchildren, as well as daily mass, prayer and rosary while becoming closer to her Lord and Savior. Darlene was a giver, doing whatever she could to assist her family, friends, church, and charities.
Darlene was preceded in death by her parents, Frances and Lloyd Skiba, her husband, Robert, a daughter, Mary Jo, a son, Bruce Michael, her siblings, June Wilson, Robert Skiba, Joyce Murphy, Gary Skiba, and Phyllis Skiba, and her son-in-law, Keith Wilson, as well as numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and friends, whom she missed dearly.
Darlene is survived by her children Thomas Robarge (Laurie) of Alpena, James Robarge (Julie) of Ossineke, Patrick Robarge of Springfield, MO, and Amy Wilson-Ickes (Scott) of Davisburg, MI. She is survived by her grandchildren Bryan, Adam, Kristen, Justin, Joel, Jameson, Danielle, Nicholas, Zechariah, and Spencer and her great grandchildren Aubrey, Rowan, Dylan, and Colby.
Darlene was thankful for the beautiful and full life God provided her. She was thankful and blessed to by happy and at peace and to have her last wish fulfilled to hug her children and as many of her grandchildren/great grandchildren one last time. Her family too is thankful that her wish was fulfilled and that her last days on God’s earth were happy, peaceful, and pain free.
Enjoy your beautiful new surroundings, hug the ones we love until it is our time to do the same, use that mighty singing voice to sing among the angels, and like your favorite perfume, Windsong, you will always stay on our mind.
Family will receive friends for visitation at Karpus Hunter & Ross Funeral Home on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022 from 2:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M. with prayer of the rosary at 3:00 P.M. and Parish Prayer Service at 7:00 P.M. with Deacon Mike Roy officiating. Visiting will continue on Friday at St. Anne Catholic Church of All Saints Parish from 10:00 A.M. until the Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 A.M. with Fr. Tyler Bischoff as Celebrant. Interment will be at Holy Cross Cemetery. Memorials can be made in memory of Darlene to Hospice of Michigan and All Saints Catholic School Scholarship Fund. Online condolences may be registered at www.karpushuntercares.com