EUREKA – H. Darlene LeDoux of Eureka took her last breath in this life, surrounded by and wrapped in the love of her family, Friday Dec. 19, 2014, just as she had wished for. Darlene was born in Whitefish on Oct. 30, 1946, to T. Hurley and Myrna L. Banning. They later moved to Fortine, where she was raised and romped with her three sisters and two brothers, Geraldine Robinson (John), Charlene Carvey (Lorn), Christine Case (Gary), Tom Banning (Brenda) and Ed Banning (Ruth).
Darlene attended grade school in Fortine and high school in Eureka. She relished various activities and hobbies throughout her life, one great joy being music. She learned to play by ear at any early age, amazing and enchanting those around her by picking up a guitar or sitting down at a piano and playing a song she just heard, an old favorite or one she penned herself. She would always leave you begging for more.
On July 25, 1963, she married Roland "Butch" Allen and began her life as a stay-at-home wife and mother. They raised five children together: Darla Carvey (Dan) and Tom Allen, both of Missoula; and Gregg Allen (Kim), David Allen and Heidi Cheff (Tom), all of Eureka. Darlene was very active in the lives of her children and they kept her on her toes.
On Aug. 10, 1981, she married Dennis LeDoux while residing in Helena, adding Denise Csikasz and Sabrina (Jerry) Reynolds, both of Kalispell, to the family. As soon as the children were raised, Darlene immensely enjoyed traveling and exploring different parts of the United States and Canada with Denny in their highway truck, and later when she was no longer able to tag along with him she took care of the book work at home.
Darlene adored many friends throughout her life, was quick-witted, and delighted in making you giggle or even turn your face red, but her true passion was her family. She loved nothing more than spending time with those she loved protecting, laughing, playing, singing and capturing those memories with a camera that always seemed to appear out of nowhere. She was a strong-willed woman who lived her life honestly, not afraid of hard work or a challenge (many of which she faced and pulled through gracefully), encouraging and teaching her children to do the same. She had a huge heart, not only giving generously of her time and support to those she loved, but donating to her favorite charities such as the Ladies Auxiliary VFW Post 6786 (of which she was proud to be a lifelong member), wounded veterans and St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
She was preceded in death by both her parents; one grandchild, Cody Flanigan; and one great-grandchild, Saydee Plantiko. Darlene is survived by her husband, children, 22 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. A memorial service and luncheon immediately following will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 27, at the Fortine Community Church.
Darlene lived her life in many shades of color and we will be wearing one of her favorites – red to honor her memory and invite you to do the same. She will live forever as a song in our hearts.