Courier-Leader & Flashes

Obituary: Darlene Ann Spalo

Darlene Ann Spalo, (nee Kucera) passed away peacefully at Lakeland Hospital, St. Joseph, Michigan, April 14, 2023, at the age of 77. Born Nov. 30, 1945, she was the middle daughter of Henry James Kucera and Adeline Lauferski of Clarendon Hills, Illinois.
She attended Hinsdale Township High School and worked in Chicago after graduation in 1963. She met her husband, Michael Frank Spalo, on the ski slopes of Four Lakes in Lisle, Illinois. They took part in skydiving activities and spent many happy times together with lifelong friends made as members of the Hinsdale Trolls Ski Club. They were married in 1964 and had three children, Cindy Spalo of Knoxville, Tennessee, Scott Spalo of Seminole, Florida, and Nicole Spalo Juriga, of Lawrence.
They made their home in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, where they raised their children and partook in many village activities. Darlene often staged puppet shows for children in the community and did much volunteer work. Mike was employed with the airline, so they were able to travel extensively. Unfortunately, Darlene was widowed with his untimely death in 1982, after which she went to work full time to support their children. She worked for a computer data company, a health club, the Morton Arboretum, the FDIC and later became a live-in caregiver to the elderly in Boca Raton Florida, Rye, New York and Paw Paw, which ultimately led to her final move to Southwest Michigan.
Settling in Lawrence, Darlene became active in her community volunteering many hours and days with the Lawrence Library, where she gathered books throughout the year at estate and garage sales to organize and conduct the very successful Book Fair during the Annual Ox Roast & Homecoming festival over Labor Day weekend. Darlene also recently received an honorary gratitude award for 10 years of volunteer service from the Lakeview Foundation Community Thrift Shop in Paw Paw.
Darlene is predeceased by her husband, Michael; her parents; and her grandparents, Frank and Josephine Kucera, Mary Zitek Lauferski and Anthony Sedivy.
She is survived by her children; sisters, Terry and Judy; grandchildren, Steven, Matthew, Samantha, Ashley, Jennifer, Michael, Charles, and Rebecca; great- grandchildren, Kylie, Ellie and Timothy; and five nieces and nephews.
A celebration of life will be held later this summer for friends and family members who wish to take part.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in her honor to: The Friends of the Lawrence Library, P.O. Box 186 Lawrence, MI, 49064 ATTN: Spalo Memorial. Checks may be made payable to: The Friends of the Lawrence Library, as they are unable to accept credit cards.  The non-profit organization is tax deductible. Please include your name, address and phone number as acknowledgments will be mailed or via e-mail if provided. A six year old tree will be planted on the library grounds as Darlene has always loved nature and was also a member of the Conservation Club. Any overage funds collected will be used to purchase books that would be Darlene’s preferred subject matter. A name plate will be put in each book recognizing the donation in honor of Darlene Spalo.
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