WHITINSVILLE – M. Darlene Esip, 82, of Blackstone Valley Health and Rehabilitation died Saturday, September 3, 2022, after a 16 year battle with Alzheimer's disease. She is predeceased by her husband of 21 years, James Esip, who died in 1986. She is survived by two children, Brian Esip and his wife Tammy of N. Huntingdon, PA, and Michele O'Brien and her husband Frank of Thompson, CT; two grandsons, James O'Brien and Daniel O'Brien of Webster, MA; and two sisters, Gayla Shoemake of Edmonds, WA, and Glenda Shoemake of Ft. Collins, CO, as well as nieces and nephews.
Darlene was born in Emporia, Kansas. After graduating from Kansas State Teachers College in 1961, she became a first grade teacher in Topeka. Two years later she accepted a teaching position in Berlin, Germany, instructing children of U.S. military personnel in the Department of Defense Dependent Schools. There she met Jim, the love of her life, when she was asked to pick up the newly arrived teacher from Worcester, MA, at the West Berlin train station. Soon they would marry and begin a 21 year adventure, teaching and traveling extensively throughout Europe with their two children. In 1985 they returned to the U.S. where Darlene continued to teach elementary school at First Assembly of God Christian Academy and Holden Chapel before retiring and moving to Arkansas.
Darlene was devoted to her husband, to her children, and to the needs of others. She demonstrated hospitality, kindness, and love throughout her life. She was active in her churches and enjoyed leading Bible-Studies. She was a Master Gardener and loved reading as well as listening to music. Above all, she loved the Lord.
Darlene's family is indebted to the staff at Blackstone Valley for their care and kindness. There will be a private family burial and no calling hours.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to High Pointe Church, where Darlene attended for years.