WORTHINGTON — Darlene (Duba) Broste will be remembered for her faith in God, her love for family and friends, her determination to win at card games and her perseverance to live with multiple lung diseases.
Darlene died last week as a result of injuries sustained in a domestic incident. She was 86.
Gathered in her Homestead Cooperative apartment in Worthington Friday morning, two of Darlene’s daughters, Deb Harberts and Raydell Kleve — along with her sister, Dianne Prins, and niece Pam Bruse — shared memories of a loving and kind woman whose faith helped her through the adversities of life.
A nearly lifelong resident of Worthington, Darlene came into the world as a gem in her father’s eyes, shared Harberts. He’d referred to her as his “darling jewel,” hence her name — Darlene Jewel Duba.
She served on the debate team and was a baton twirler under the lights of Trojan Field during high school, graduating from WHS in 1950. Five years later, she married Clayton Horstman.
The couple welcomed two daughters, Linda and Deb, before Clayton’s death in 1960.
“She came back here and was going to go back to college to be a teacher,” said Harberts. “She was 28 years old and had to pick up the pieces and put a life back together. She did it with God’s hands around her.”
Mutual friends introduced Darlene to her second husband, Burton Broste, a long-time manager of Lampert Lumber. They married in May 1964, and the family expanded with a daughter, Raydell, and son, Gary.
For years, the Brostes lived at the end of May Street, along the shores of Lake Okabena. The Chautauqua Park bandshell, where Darlene will be remembered in a Monday morning outdoor memorial service, was just beyond their former backyard.
“Darlene loved Chautauqua Park,” Prins said. “The grandchildren had been there many, many times.”
Prins said her sister would often take the kids over to the bandshell and encourage them to get on stage to perform, whether it was a song or dance — whatever — and she would sit there and clap for all of them.
“She was a wonderful grandma — and great-grandma, too,” Prins shared.
“What she leaves with me is family and faith,” said Harberts. “Family is everything — you don’t waste your words on anger because you never know when your life is going to be shattered.”
Darlene kept her family close, particularly through her love of picnics. She would find any reason to host one; her daughters calling it a Duba institution. Picnics were organized to welcome relatives passing through town, to celebrate a graduation, wedding reception or any occasion there was to bring family together.
A leader in the local P.E.O. Chapter, a philanthropic organization that promoted education of women, Darlene worked a series of part-time jobs while her kids were growing up. Her jobs spanned ownership of a beauty salon to doing the book work for Duba Sheet Metal. Kleve said she never realized until she was older that her mom worked outside the home, because she was always there when they went to school in the morning and when they returned home in the afternoon.
Darlene taught Bethel Bible and Sunday School at American Lutheran Church in Worthington for many years; her own treasured Bible well worn and filled with notes.
After their kids were grown and the Brostes retired, they spent their winters in warmer climates, first at Jekyll Island along the Georgia coast, and then in Palm Desert, California, where the drier air made it easier on Darlene’s lung diseases.
Kleve said her mom loved to play bridge and pinochle, a Duba family game. She was a member of the YMCA, where she walked the track and worked out on the machines.
“It was a social gathering,” Kleve said. “When I’d walk with her out there, she’d introduce me to all her friends.”
Of course, the trips to the Y followed her first morning ritual — coffee group.
“Every morning there was a place she went to meet for coffee,” Kleve said.
“She loved coffee time, but she didn’t like coffee,” added Prins. “One cup and that was it — with cream and a glass of water.”
Darlene suffered a broken hip last November, and had returned to Homestead Cooperative while she went through physical therapy. Daughters Linda and Raydell took turns staying with her, and then COVID-19 arrived. Because their mother still needed care, she was moved to the Twin Cities and lived with Linda and her family. Darlene died July 9 at North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale.
She is survived by her four children, six grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, three siblings and numerous nieces and nephews.