Darlene Joyce Ferrie

Darlene Joyce Ferrie, born July 13, 1930, passed on quietly in her sleep February 11, 2020.


Darlene Joyce Ferrie, born July 13, 1930, passed on quietly in her sleep February 11, 2020. Darlene was daughter to Emil and Viola (Meyer) Deutmeyer from Dubuque, Iowa. She was a beautiful person with a beautiful singing voice who fell in love with Cletus “Pete” Ferrie, a Cresco/Schley native who was sent to boarding school at Loras Academy in Dubuque, to become a priest. The priesthood was apparently not Pete’s true calling as he married Darlene on October 28, 1950. To this union was born five children. They lived in Madison, Wisconsin, then Rockford, Illinois, and later Greendale, Wisconsin as they followed Pete’s career—first with Sealtest Ice Cream and eventually 3M. In every home they lived, Darlene made it beautiful with her magical touch.
To Darlene, every occasion was a reason for a party. She was an amazing hostess and enjoyed the preparation just as much as the actual event. She made every guest, friend, and visitor feel truly special and loved in her home. She was an amazing baker and cook who never followed a recipe by the book, rather it was a bit of this and a little of that. No one has ever been able to replicate her Thanksgiving dressing. The Ferrie family lived in a beautiful home in Greendale and Pete owned an office supply company in the Milwaukee area, but the call of Iowa and the farm life he knew as a child, called to him more strongly each and every spring—until the winter of 1973. Pete and Darlene sold their home and business and bought a farm in Kendallville, Iowa. For this city family from the suburbs of Milwaukee, the move to Iowa was the real-life Green Acres series. They made this time a special adventure as everything was new, but one thing was consistent, Darlene’s beautiful home and hospitality. Over the years, the dairy farm began its second life as Harvest Farm Campground.

Darlene lost her beloved Pete in February of 2002, just weeks before he was to turn 72. Her heart was broken at the loss of the love of her life, but she carried on with her smile and joy and optimism and was a pillar of strength and a hero—not only to her children, but everyone whose life she touched. Three years ago, due to health issues, she made the Evans Care Center her new home and she came to love the staff and her friends very deeply. She never missed Bingo, which she enjoyed with her friends as well as the family of her friend, Ada Walters. She counted down the days to when Tim “the Music Man” Howland made his monthly appearance so she could sing along to every song. And at the end of the hour, she always exclaimed that the time was just too short.

Darlene was always so beautifully dressed with matching jewelry and accessories, and she never left her room without her nails polished and her lipstick on. Oh how we will miss her joy-filled smile and her beautiful voice. She is survived by her daughters Debbie (Dale) Ptacek, Lynn (Robert) Olson, and her sons Dave (Jill) Ferrie, Paul (Linda) Ferrie and Pat Ferrie; 11 grandchildren; and 16 great grandchildren. She will be deeply missed but lives on in the love this family has for each other and the wonderful lifetime of memories they cherish. A private memorial will be held by the family.

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