On September 2, 2022, Darlene Strandberg Clemenson, age 85, passed away and into the loving arms of her husband Lyle who preceded her in death in 2021. Darlene was born on September 6, 1936, and raised on a farm in Clearbrook, Minnesota. Soon after graduating from Clearbook High School, she married Lyle Clemenson on October 8, 1955 in Conrad, Montana. Darlene and Lyle were married for 65 years and all who knew them also knew there was no Lyle without Darlene and no Darlene without Lyle; they were always together, one rarely leaving the other’s side. Throughout her life, Darlene was a small business owner with her husband Lyle and a homemaker for their three children. Their business ventures together primarily focused in the manufacturing and construction industries. Darlene provided shrewd and grounded financial assessments for the couple, without which Lyle’s many business ventures would never have gotten off the ground. Darlene and Lyle were also partners in faith, becoming active members of their local church and also taking time to read the Bible together in their home with peaceful views of the river as they shared their faith.
Darlene was a devoted homemaker for her three children Sabrina, Rene and Danny, ensuring a secure and loving home for them in such varied Minnesota locations as Embarrass, North Minneapolis, Golden Valley and Brooklyn Park. As youngsters, when her children returned home from school, they were often greeted with the scent of freshly baked bread and Darlene would treat them to slices with melted butter on the still warm bread. Darlene was also a talented seamstress, sewing matching Easter and Christmas dresses and jumpers for school for her two daughters. One Christmas she surprised them both with matching floor length robes with lace collars and satin belts. This was a ‘top secret’ project Darlene worked on for months in the few spare hours of her day.
Darlene was also an effective disciplinarian; when her young son Danny persisted with rebellious conduct, Darlene would simply reach for the kitchen phone, stating “I’m going to call Dad” and he would immediately abandon his defiant ways.
In later years, Darlene was a proud grandparent who enjoyed passing down and partaking in the Scandinavian tradition of lefse making during the holiday season with her grandchildren and family. Darlene would ensure all were properly attired with aprons and would oversee proper procedures for rolling out the dough and flipping the lefse at the perfect time. Year round, in her home, Darlene proudly displayed grandparent-sized picture frames of each of her grandchildren, ready to share each grandchild’s latest accomplishments with visitors as well as attending their school and church events. Ever the talented crafter, Darlene became an exceptional quilter and knitter, making blankets and scarves of all colors to keep her family warm in colder months. She also honed a talent for jewelry making, customizing earrings and bracelets for her family and friends.
In her last year after Lyle passed away, Darlene lived in Duluth, Minnesota and took particular joy when visiting her three great-grandsons; observing how “smart and quick” they all were and how the two youngest were “always so busy and getting into everything!”
In addition to her husband Lyle, Darlene was preceded in death by her parents, Tillie and John Strandberg; brothers Leon, Emil, and Alfred; her sister Evelyn and granddaughter Christina Ryan. She is survived by her sisters Signe Wagner and Sonja Steile; sister-in-law Jane Debruycker; her children Sabrina (John) Ryan; Rene Krieger; Danny (Mary) Clemenson; grandchildren Thomas (Ari) Ryan; Julia Krieger (Evan Vanderveer); Anna Krieger; Carl Clemenson; Nicholas Clemenson; Nathan Clemenson and great-grandsons Asher Ryan, Callum Ryan and Bodie Ryan as well as many loving and devoted relatives and friends.
In their years together, as they were raising their children, often on Sunday afternoons after church and Sunday breakfast, Lyle and Darlene would play a record on the stereo in their living room and waltz together; a favorite was ‘The Last Waltz Together.’ At the time, their three young and then teenage children would of course roll their eyes at such a display and leave the room quickly, but Darlene and Lyle would continue to waltz together, paying no mind whatsoever. And now, Darlene, as you enter the Kingdom of Heaven, your last waltz with Lyle will last forever.
A Celebration of Life Service for Darlene Clemenson will be held at United Lutheran Church in Berner* MN on Saturday, October 8, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. A light lunch with fellowship will be offered after the service and burial at United Lutheran Cemetery in Berner** MN immediately following.
The family requests memorials in Darlene’s memory be directed to United Lutheran Church and/or United Lutheran Cemetery. Cards and memorials can be sent to : Rene Krieger, 7141 France Ave So., Apt. 518 Edina, MN 55435
*United Lutheran Church 55070 149th Avenue Gonvick, MN 56644 or **United Lutheran Cemetery 54139 149th Avenue Gonvick MN 56644