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Darlene M. Drusch, 80

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

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

Darlene lived most of her life in or near Howard Lake. Born Sept. 19, 1938, in Minneapolis, to Louis and Etta (Gebhardt) Smith, she had one brother, Gerald, and was raised on the family farm.

Darlene was baptized Sept. 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.

Darlene was a longtime member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Winsted, and most recently, of 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 (Darlene’s stepchildren); and three children together: Debbie, Danny, and Donna.

Darlene 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.

She 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, Darlene 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, Kaitlyn (Trevor) Goldberg, Jaime Vialpando and Jordan Vialpando, all of Colorado Springs, CO; Bailey 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.

Darlene was preceded in death by her parents, Louis and Etta Smith.

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