Darline Bielenberg Stafford: Feb. 1, 1931 – Aug. 8, 2015

August 2015 Posted in People

Darline Marie (Ward) Bielenberg Stafford, 84,  passed away peacefully Aug. 8, 2015 from complications due to a stroke. She was in her Silverton home surrounded by family.

Darline was born in Portland, Ore., on Feb. 1, 1931 to Phyllis and John Ward. She and her siblings (John, Clarence, Ralph and Jean), lived near a baseball stadium. The family later moved to their Crooked Finger home and it was there Darline met Anthony Bielenberg, whom she married July 28, 1949.  The couple lived on nine acres in Scotts Mills and raised seven children.

Darline worked for Chemeketa Community College as an outreach coordinator for students in the Scotts Mills area and as a reporter for the Silverton Appeal Tribune including serving as managing editor in the Mount Angel office. She also freelanced for the Statesmen Journal. She enjoyed writing and took classes in autobiographical writing, compiling a book of family stories which she shared with her children.

Tony died in a hunting accident in 1992. Two years later Ken Stafford invited Darline to lunch. They were married in 1995. Ken passed away in 2009.

In later years, Darline moved to a private home in Silverton where she was cared for by daughter and son-in-law Jeanie and Steve Lehman, daughter-in-law Diana Bielenberg, and Mataniu (Mattie) Fabela and Pio Fulu. Darline’s volunteer activities include the Silverton Hospital Auxiliary and Hospital Foundation Board of Directors. In 2001, Darline received a Dedication of Appreciation award for her work in creating the Family Birth Center.  She was also involved in the Scotts Mills Firemen’s Auxiliary.

She is survived by her sister Jean Ward of Sonoma, Calif., and her children Richard Bielenberg of Scotts Mills; Judith Anderson of New Jersey; James Bielenberg of Scotts Mills; Robert Bielenberg of Otis; Jeanie Lehman of Pratum; Ronald Bielenberg of Scotts Mills; Daniel Bielenberg of Salem; 17 grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren, and many who consider Darline their “second mom”.  Darline treasured her role as mother and grandmother. Services were held Aug. 13 at St. Paul’s Catholic Church.

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