Emma Darlene Little was born April 11, 1940, in Tacoma, Washington, to parents Martin and Edna Brown. Darlene was the youngest of eight children. Growing up in Parkland, Washington, she shared many stories of horseback riding and playing sports, bowling and softball being a couple of her favorites. In her free time, you could find her playing and running around with her best friend, Liz, at the Lakeview dairy. You could also find her at the Parkland Rodeo as queen adviser where she became lifelong friends with Pauli Plummer.
She met and married James B. Little in 1968. They loved country music concerts and honky tonkin’. Early in their marriage, Jim and Darlene lived in Blue Diamond, Nevada, for seven years and Idaho Falls, Idaho, for four years before moving back to Parkland, Washington. They had four children: Cheryl Roberts, Craig Roberts, Jimmy Little (Debbie) and Angie Brumfield (Taj) as well as Sandi Gooch (Dennis), who was like a daughter since she was 16. She loved and cherished her eight grandchildren, Michael Roberts (Lindsey), Roland Roberts, Joe Paul (Sariah), Sam Paul (Simone), Matt Little, Erika Brumfield, Drea Brumfield, Gage Brumfield, and one great-grandchild, Adelene Paul. Darlene was a school bus driver for Puyallup School District for 18 years. After retirement, she and Jim spent their time chasing their grandchildren and enjoying time on their farm in Chehalis, Washington. She is preceded in death by her brother Martin (Betty), sisters Pearl Roehr (Augie), Donna Thompson, brothers, Earl, Delbert, Roy (Ann), sister Esther Schneider (Lester) and son, Craig Roberts. She leaves behind her loving husband, Jim, daughters, Cheryl, Angie and son Jimmy.
Darlene was an amazing mother, wife, grandma and friend whether she was dancing at the Roy Rodeo Hall with her husband or riding horses with the Back Country Horsemen, coaching youth sports or volunteering for an event. It was not without her whole heart and laughter that she enjoyed these activities. The moments that brought joy and meaning to her life were cheering on her grandchildren at every event, cherishing the time with her family and friends, and the love she and her husband, Jim, had for each other. Darlene was the most amazing mother, wife, grandmother and friend anyone could ever ask for. The smile on her face was absolutely infectious. Her positivity, outgoingness and kindness were overflowing. She will be deeply missed for so many reasons.
Please join us to celebrate Darlene’s life at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23, at the Lewis & Clark Event Center, 117 W. Magnolia, Centralia, WA 98531.