Darlene Sitton passed away at her residence in St. Louis on September 14, 2009. A memorial was held at the Overland Christian Church in St. Louis on September 20 for all of her St. Louis family, church members and friends.
Darlene was the second of four children born in the northeast corner of the Texas panhandle on October 10, 1932, to Ben and Etna Schafer.
She joined older brother Gene, and subsequent brothers Vernon and Victor that were later born in Monticello, UT, where Ben and Etna homesteaded on South Canyon Point.
As the only girl born in this homesteading, hardscrabble family, life on a dry land farm was not an easy life for the young girl. She learned the value of hard work from a very early age.
She had a close personal relationship with the Lord, who had challenged her from birth with special needs that required extensive reconstructive surgery. He compensated her hardship by giving her a beautiful soul.
At age 5, in 1937 she was taken to Salt Lake City, where she began intermittent periods of reconstructive surgery at St. Mary’s Hospital for a good portion of the next ten years of her life.
These surgical trials gave her relationship with the Lord extra strength and reinforced her personal confidence in all of life’s challenges and gave her strength to take each day solidly centered with her faith and goals intact and firmly grounded.
Darlene graduated from Monticello High school in 1950 and returned to live in the Kaysville area and worked in Ogden.
During this time she met, was courted, and married her lifelong partner Edward Lee Sitton, on October 10, 1953.
Edward was newly discharged from the Air Force, where he was a Master Sergeant. Still eager for adventure, he decided to spend the winter in Utah due to the winter weather and a mechanical failure with his motorcycle. He was employed at Hill Force Base.
Darlene and Ed were married in Monticello and Annalee Burtenshaw, a close neighbor and lifelong friend, had a bridal shower for Darlene at her residence.
Darlene and Ed returned to northern Utah until the birth of her first son Michael, in 1954, and then moved to Missouri, where Edward’s family was located. Ed began employment in St. Louis, where he was offered a job with McDonnell Douglas to help build and maintain aircraft.
Darlene and Ed added six more children to this union. The couple was very active in the Overland Christian Church in almost every capacity, with special interest in Boy, Girl and Cub scouting.
In this church, Darlene found another devoted family and made many close friends. Her interests were reading, quilting, almost all arts and crafts, and in particular, a love for children that she continued and enjoyed long after her own family was raised. This was an activity that she maintained her entire life.
Darlene’s family and friends in Monticello were never disappointed in her absence, because every summer without fail, Darlene and Ed and her Missouri family would show up in Monticello for an extended visit.
When the children married and began lives of their own, or took on additional responsibilities with jobs or higher levels of education, Darlene and Ed would bring several grandchildren because she wanted all of them to enjoy Monticello, their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, the farm, and other red rock canyon adventures.
Edward also enjoyed and looked forward to vacations in Monticello because he belonged to the Schafer family as much as he was belonged to his own.
He and Darlene were deeded one fourth of the family homestead, which provided them great enjoyment and recreation.
Ed prided himself for being an avid student of the area and was very knowledgeable about the history, archeology and geology of the Four Corners and canyon country. He owned and studied every publication of Blue Mountain Shadows.
Darlene is preceded in death by her husband of 52 years, Edward Lee Sitton; her parents Benjamin Franklin Schafer and Etna O. Trueblood Schafer; and brother Vernon (Nila) Schafer.
Darlene is survived by her children Michael (Yvonne) Sitton of Cortez, CO; Gail Trevino of St. John, MO; Brenda (Rocky) Waymon of KY; Mark (Jan) Sitton of IL; Kathleen (Gary) Rakers of IL; Eric Sitton of St. John, MO; Valerie Wood of IL; 17 grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.
She is also survived by brothers Gene Schafer and Victor (Susan) Schafer of Monticello, and numerous nieces and nephews and cousins from Texas to California.
A memorial service and final gathering for Darlene for all of her Utah family and close friends will be held on Darlene’s property at the Schafer farm on Saturday, October 3 at 1 p.m.
Join the family for lunch. Directions to the farm are to take County Road 331 north of Monticello at the tree farm and follow the yellow survey tape tied to fence posts. At the end of County Road 330 turn right. In case of inclement weather, feel free to call Gene, Victor, Russell or Trent.