Darlene Marie (Keith) FickenJuly 13, 1932 ~ April 13, 2017 (age 84)
Darlene Marie Ficken
Darlene Marie Ficken, 84, Hays, died Thursday, April 13, 2017 at the Hays Medical Center.
She was born July 13, 1932 in her Grandmother Keith’s house in country, near Penokee, Kansas, the daughter of Frank and Marie (Thomas) Keith. She attended grade school at Columbia, a one-room country school. She graduated high school in Morland, Kansas in 1950. She attended Fort Hays State University, earning a 60 hour degree to teach Elementary School. While at Fort Hays, she met a handsome young man with a Harley Davidson motorcycle named Dale L. Ficken. They were united in marriage on August 10, 1952 in Morland and they celebrated over 59 years of marriage prior to him preceding her in death on January 27, 2012. Darlene taught school at Otis, Kansas then moved to Haines, Alaska. Her son Jerry was born in Juneau. She did substitute teaching at Haines High School the following year. In 1954, the family moved to Bison, Kansas. A son Kent was born in 1955 and the family moved to Claflin where Dale taught high school.
In 1956, the family moved to a farm near Bazine where Dale farmed and taught at Ness City. Darlene enjoyed the animals and gardening. She also enjoyed teaching Sunday School and Bible School for many years. She organized Cub Scouts and helped with Boy Scouts. She was the township committeewoman for several years and enjoyed working with the local and state candidates. In 1965, the family moved to Hays where Dale taught at Fort Hays State University. Darlene was a charter member of the Hays League of Women Voters, later working during enrollment at FHSU. She made quilts for her grandchildren and great grandchildren, and loved to cook and bake, especially desserts like cherry cheesecake, and other cakes and cookies. Family and friends especially remember her Halloween caramel corn and peanut brittle at Christmas. She enjoyed gardening, canning pickles, and making homemade ice cream. She loved her family and especially enjoyed her grandchildren and great grandchildren and all will miss her hugs and her laughter.
Survivors include two sons; Jerry Ficken of Bazine and Kent Ficken and wife Joan of Hays, two granddaughters; Rachael Werth and husband Brian of Wichita and Arielle Drees and husband Michael of Hays, seven great grandchildren; Leah, Elaina, Lily, Alliana, Adrian, Dominic, and Ava, a sister-in-law; Jody Cochran of Luray, and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, two brothers; Ronald Keith and Max Keith, and her husband Dale L. Ficken.
A celebration of Darlene’s life will be at 10:00 am on Friday, April 21, 2017 at the Cornerstone Southern Baptist Church, 1605 E. 29th Street, Hays, with Pastor Kyle Ermoian and Pastor Gary Simon officiating. Inurnment will follow in Fort Hays Memorial Gardens Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 9:00 am until service time on Friday at the church. Memorials are suggested to the Moss-Thorns Gallery of Art at Fort Hays State University, in care of the Hays Memorial Chapel Funeral Home, 1906 Pine Street, Hays. Condolences may be left for the family at www.haysmemorial.com