A celebration of life for Ethel Darlene (Sojka) Kelley, 94, of Marion, formerly of Kalona and Washington, will be held Tuesday, July 16, 2019 at 2:00 PM at the Prairie Flower Baptist Church in rural Washington with Pastor David Cotner officiating. Burial will be at Sharon Hill Cemetery in Kalona. Visitation will be held Monday, July 15, from 4 – 7 PM at the Peterseim Funeral Home in Kalona. A memorial fund has been established for Hospice of Washington County. Darlene Kelley died Thursday, July 11, 2019 at Living Center East in Cedar Rapids.
Ethel Darlene (Sojka) Kelley was born October 27, 1924 in rural Riverside, Iowa, the daughter of Ray E. and Frances A. (Perrin) Sojka. She graduated from Kalona High School, received her Teachers Certificate from Iowa State Teachers College, and later received her master’s degree from the University of Iowa. On July 18, 1945, she was united in marriage to Richard E. Kelley in Harvard, Nebraska. Darlene started her teaching career in a one room Schoolhouse. She later taught at various schools, including Prairie Flower School, Washington Schools, and the Mid Prairie Schools of Kalona and Washington Township. After she retired from teaching, she worked at the Halcyon House as a CNA. Darlene was involved in many organizations, including 4H, the Idris Club in Kalona, the Retired Teachers Association, and a member of the Kalona United Christian and Baptist church.
Survivors include four children: Ronald Kelley of Cedar Rapids, Stephen (Connie) Kelley of Parker CO, Joyce (David) Weber of Marion, Coralie (Ryan) Miller of Wellman; three sisters: Frances McGaffey of Wellman, Rosamond Goodlander of Washington, Lovila Jane Rinaldo of Varna IL; eight grandchildren: Kimberly Gruemmer, Kathy Errico, Kelley Thirtyacre, Stephanie Brady, Jaimie Berger, Zachary Berger, Hannah Schveiger, Amanda Miller; and 19 great-grandchildren.
Darlene was preceded in death by her parents, husband Richard in 1996, two brothers, Raymond Sojka, and Leland John Sojka, son-in-law Mark Berger, and daughter-in-law Marsha (Geringer) Kelley.
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Hospice of Washington Co.
948 East 11th Street Washington, Iowa 52353,