Lillian Darleen Pettengill went to be with the Lord at 5 a.m., on Dec. 7, 2012 at Morningside Rehab and Care Center in Ida Grove after a long struggle with diabetes. Both hers and her husband's ashes will be buried in the Ida Grove Cemetery today at 1 p.m. followed by a "Celebration of Life" worship service at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Ida Grove at 1:30 p.m., followed by a time of fellowship in the church fellowship hall. There was no separate visitation time.
Daughter of George Robert Cummins and Lulu Alberta (Barrett) Cummins, Darleen was born in Omaha, Neb. on Feb. 20, 1936 and lived there until she was five years old. She grew up in Cherokee, where she graduated from Cherokee High School in 1954 and lived there until she moved to Ida Grove in 1980. Her home is known as the oldest house in the Village of Ida, inherited from Charles Barrett.
After working in Cherokee as a hospital dietary aide and dry cleaner clerk, she married George Kent Pettengill, a high school classmate and fellow genealogist, on February 22, 1980. George taught at Ida Grove High School from 1980 until his death Feb. 4, 1985. The couple had no children.
Genealogy and record keeping were Darleen's life. She taught classes on genealogy and traced both hers and George's family back for centuries. After George's death, she worked a variety of jobs as a baby-sitter, library aide, Head Start aide, and housekeeper.
Loyal to her church family and to God, even in the years she spent limited to her home, she served by donating to the church "Cupboard" and writing greeting cards in the name of the church.
Darleen is survived by a sister, Esther Amanson of Mapleton, a first cousin, Lulu Martinsen of Whiting, many nieces, nephews and cousins, as well as her church family, friends and caretakers.
She was preceded in death by her parents; a brother, William James "Bud" Cummins; and her husband.