Darlene W. Jacobs


Darlene W. Jacobs passed away peacefully and surrounded by family on February 27, 2024 in her beloved hometown of Quincy, IL, where she lived the majority of her life.

Darlene was born on January 18, 1932, in Quincy, IL, to George H. Wagner and Eleanor C. (Sandmann) Wagner. She was the youngest of five children. Her siblings (in chronological order) were Ethel Thale, Grace Oberling, Leila Fischer, and George Wagner (all of whom preceded her in death). She often shared stories about the care she felt from her older sisters and the adventures she shared with her brother.

She was a graduate of Quincy Senior High in 1949. After graduation, she attended Blessing Hospital School of Nursing, and received her RN in 1952. She achieved additional affiliations while working at the University Hospitals in Chicago, IL.

On August 30, 1953, she married the love of her life, Merle W. Jacobs. They were high school sweethearts, and married three weeks before he began medical school. Merle’s medical training took them to various locations in the midwest which is where they also started their family. Their oldest daughter, Pamela F. Jacobs Yates was born in Madison, WI, in 1958. Their second daughter, Kimberly J. Parrish was born in Iowa City, IA, in 1960. They returned to Quincy, IL where they had their third daughter, Jennifer J. Frank in 1969.

Family was of utmost importance in Darlene’s life. She became a full-time homemaker and taxi driver, running her daughters to countless numbers of lessons, rehearsals, and activities. She supported them in all of their interests, as well as worked tirelessly behind the scenes to support those organizations. One also cannot count the number of hours she spent watching games, dance rehearsals and recitals, and concerts. Her dedication was boundless.

When family and friends think of Darlene, they think of her deep faith. She grew up attending Salem Evangelical United Church of Christ, then became a member of Faith Presbyterian Church where she served as an elder and a deacon. She rededicated her life to Christ as an adult, and became a witness to His work and His word. There are many people who have said that because of her, they came to either know Him or their faith was strengthened and reaffirmed.

Darlene was very active in the community. Her memberships and organizations include: P.E.O. Chapter F, Blessing Hospital Women’s Board, Monroe School PTA and past vice-president of QHS PTA, Brownie/Girl Scout leader, past secretary and past president of the Adams County Medical Society, Quincy Service League (serving as past publicity chair), the Quincy Symphony Women’s Board, board member of Mentor Moms and Young Life, volunteer at the Horizons Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry, and participant of the Women’s Interdenominational Bible Study.

With time, her family grew and grew and grew! Her children married and had families of their own, and Darlene then became “DeDe”. Pam married Lowell Yates and adopted two daughters, Pilar (Tyler) Brumbaugh and Pasha Yates. Kim married Randy Parrish and had three children: Tim (Danielle) Parrish, Amy (Clint) Daniels, and Katie (David McDonald) Parrish. Jennie married Keith Frank and became the mother to Steve (Tara) and Matt (Jessica) Frank. Her grandchildren married and had families, too. Finley, Kynzleigh, Livi, Lincoln, Penelope, Oliver, Nilsa, and Levi were added to this beautiful family.

Her family recently gathered and shared memories. One recurring memory was DeDe’s cooking, which was central to every holiday and special occasion. Those who knew Darlene also know her love of Disney with her husband and family. The Jacobs family also included furry members, and she loved watching or hearing about them.

The most important memory of all was DeDe’s deep, unbounding love and dedication to her husband of 70 years, Merle. During their time together, they had numerous adventures: planning and participating in annual Mardi Gras parties, their memberships to the Quincy Country Club and Sheridan Swim Club, traveling all over the country for vacations, and making memories with their friends. The most special memories of all have been her dedication to Merle over the past 6 years as he has fought health issues. Her unwavering commitment and fierce loyalty to him was an example to all around them.

Darlene was a strong, caring, loving, and simply amazing woman who will be deeply missed. Words cannot express the deep sense of sadness and loss her family feels. But we know that she is celebrating and dancing with her Heavenly Father. She will forever be remembered and cherished.

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