Darlene NielsenJuly 5, 1923 ~ November 1, 2017 (age 94)
Darlene Byrne was the youngest of five children born to Michael and Aurilla Byrne in Modesto, CA. She lived in Modesto her entire life, growing up on a small family farm on the West side of town, attending Fairview elementary school and graduating from Modesto High School in 1941. She married Olaf (Ole) Nielsen in 1946 and they celebrated 55 years of marriage before Ole's passing in 2002. Darlene was a full-time Mom for many years and then joined FMC Corporation, working there for 25 years until retiring when the Modesto facility ceased operations in the 1980's. She was the face and voice of this Company, for many years, while she worked as their receptionist and in other administrative roles. Upon her passing, she was one of only a handful of local FMC retirees that remain living.
Darlene and Ole built the family home, in the La Loma neighborhood, in 1948 and she remained there until moving into the Bethel Retirement Center in 2015. That transition resulted in the creation of a significantly larger and extended family for Darlene as the wonderful Bethel management and staff adopted her as their friend. She was loved by many and enjoyed spending time with her family and friends and cheering for her favorite team, the Oakland A's.
Darlene was preceded in death by her parents and her siblings, Loryn Byrne, Marjorie Foletta, Dolores Ferrini and Merle Byrne; and by her granddaughter Melinda Nielsen Sousa. She leaves her children, Tom Nielsen and his wife Annette; Jackie Lloyd and husband Greg; Mike Nielsen and wife Michele; Nieces and nephews Patricia Whittingslow, Sharon Simpson, Gary, Franklin and Troy Ferrini, Butch and Bill Griffin and Debbie Cowan. She also leaves grandchildren Nick McAdams, Lisa Rocha, Natalie Nielsen, Kristina Pitcher, Eric Nielsen and Megan Maker. Finally, she leaves her great grandchildren Bryce and Bradley Rocha, Caleb and Hannah Maker and Owen, Maddox, Parker and Couper Nielsen.
Memorial services will be at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, at 9:30AM on Wednesday November 8, 2017, with burial at St. Stanislaus Cemetery immediately following the service. A reception will follow in the Church hall. In lieu of flowers, the family requests you consider sending donations to: Stanislaus Community Foundation, Melinda Nielsen Family Scholarship Fund, 1029 – 16th Street, Modesto, CA 95354.