Darlene Lukins

September 5, 1928 - November 10, 2018
Plainwell, MI



Tuesday, November 13, 2018
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM EST
McCowen & Secord Life Story Funeral Homes
Marshall-Gren Chapel
120 South Woodhams Street
Plainwell, MI 49080
(269) 685-5881
Driving Directions


Wednesday, November 14, 2018
11:00 AM EST
First Presbyterian Church
303 E. Bridge St.
Plainwell, MI 49080


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan
222 N. Kalamazoo Mall, Ste. 100
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
(269) 345-0273
Driving Directions
Web Site

First Presbyterian Church
303 E Bridge St.
Plainwell, MI 49080

Life Story / Obituary


With a life that spanned times of war and times of peace, times of plenty and times of want, Darlene Lukins was an amazing woman who meant so much to many. She spent much of her life in the Plainwell community, and through her work she touched the lives of so many young people. Darlene was a devoted wife and mother, and she was filled with unspeakable joy to later greet grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well. A woman of faith, she exemplified that it means to live a life filled with unconditional love for others. Darlene will be deeply missed, but she leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that her loved ones will forever hold near and dear to their hearts.

The 1920s were an exciting time in America. Often recalled as the Roaring Twenties, innovation was leading the way to changes that greatly affected our daily lives. Washing machines, refrigerators, and radios were among the innovative excitement while cars became more affordable for the average American after being mass produced on assembly lines nationwide. Amidst this exciting time was a time of great joy in the lives of Edwin and Emma Erickson as they announced the birth of the baby girl they named Darlene on September 5, 1928, in Frazee, Minnesota.

In many ways Darlene was a young girl of her generation. She attended local schools, walking a mile to and from school every day during elementary school. Darlene learned a strong work ethic at a young age when she helped work the small family farm with things like pulling weeds and milking the cows. They also picked wild blueberries on their property.

New and exciting changes were soon in store for Darlene when a high school friend convinced her to move to Bemidji, Minnesota, to work at the Markham Hotel after graduating from high school. It was there that she met the man who would forever hold the key to her heart. His name was Dave Lukins, and they met at the VFW in Bemidji. Truth be told, Darlene got weak in the knees when she served him lunch at the hotel. They went out on some dates, and when he asked her if she thought they should get married, Darlene didn't shy away from telling him what it would take for her to agree. When he accomplished her wishes, they were married after dating for a year at her parents’ home in Menahga, Minnesota. This marked the beginning of a new chapter in a love story that would span 62 years.

There was never anything more dear to Darlene than her family. Together she and Dave welcomed four children including Connie, David Jr., Karen , and Renee into their hearts and home. They spent most of their married life in the Plainwell area as they moved to Kalamazoo in 1947 so Dave could start working at the paper mill. In 1953 they moved to Plainwell, and this is where they remained for the rest of their lives. Darlene took great pride in caring for her home and family, and she made it look easy. She saw to it that she made three square meals a day, and their family enjoyed eating meals together. Later in life Darlene was so thrilled to become a grandmother, and these grandchildren later added several branches of great-grandchildren into her family tree as well.

Throughout her life Darlene was rarely one to be still. Once in Plainwell, she and her husband became very active members of First Presbyterian Church of Plainwell. There, Darlene sang in the choir and was a deacon several times over the years. She also spent several years working as a teacher’s aide at Plainwell Schools. Darlene lived her faith and made sure she was applying the Golden Rule. When relaxing with some time off, she liked reading and also enjoyed music. As a music lover, she taught herself to play the guitar. The last five years of her life were spent at Bickford Cottage in Portage where she was known as “The Bickford Darling.”

Gracious, sweet, and compassionate, Darlene Lukins was truly beautiful on the inside and out. She lived to care for her family, and she was selfless when it came to those around her. A woman of faith, Darlene touched the lives of so many. She will never be forgotten.

Four children: Connie (Ron) Kandell, David Jr. (Judy) Lukins, Karen (Dan) Maxwell, and Renee (Dean) Callahan: 9 Grand Children: 11 Great Grand Children. Pre deceased by husband: Dave; daughter: Karen Maxwell; and son-in-law: Dan Maxwell.