Darlene Adair (Wetherell) Deen passed peacefully in her sleep December 15, 2023 with her faithful little dog standing guard at her side. Those of us that knew and loved her, however, know she didn’t go peacefully – she went barefoot, bareback, and free. She rode that wild horse like a banshee just as fast as it would carry her to her love of 53 years’ side; where he’d sat impatiently waiting for the last 15 years!
Darlene was born December 10, 1938, the youngest of three girls, to Lewis “Luke” & Maybelle Wetherell, in The Dalles, OR. She spent her childhood in Arlington, OR where she and her late husband, John Deen, met in grade school and later married in 1955. They welcomed their first son, John David later that same year. In 1957, they would have another son, Brian Eugene, who passed during childbirth.
In her younger years, Darlene had a passion and knack for hairdressing, opening her own salon in a small addition of their house on Shane Drive in Arlington. Later, looking for their independence, the young family moved to the Tri-Cities for a stint before eventually packing everything up in 1963 and heading to Reno, NV.
Throughout her life, Darlene was a bookkeeper and a small business owner alongside John while living in the Reno area. During this time, they welcomed their daughter Misty in 1967. They remained in Nevada until their return to Arlington in 1984 where both Darlene and John remained until passing.
Darlene was a loyal-to-a-fault, hard-working, tough-as-nails, tell-it-like-it-is kind of gal. If she loved you, she made sure you knew it; forever claiming it was always more than you loved her. Like the wild horses she loved, she had a wild, free, and untamed spirit. You always knew where you stood with her and what opinions she had; she may have disliked man-buns, tattoos, and facial piercings, but you knew if she liked the person beneath those things. She was unflinchingly independent and fiercely competitive, as all of the Arlington Bridge ladies can attest to. She loved all things western and was one of the first to tell you she was a “real cowboy” from the top of her hat to the tips of her boots with the spurs that jingle, jangle, jingled! She loved the finer things in life and deserved every bit of them. She also, quite firmly, believed the only way to fry chicken was in butter and the only way to make cookies was to triple the batch to make it worth it!
Darlene was preceded in death by both of her parents, the love of her life, and both of her sisters. She is survived by her son, John David (Ann) Deen and her daughter, Misty (Robert) Duron. She also leaves behind a host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren who knew her as Granny.
A service will be held in Arlington, OR at her request later in the spring. Until then, if you are so inclined, have yourself a Blue Moon (don’t forget the orange slice for $#** sake!!) or whatever beverage makes you smile, and toast the woman for all that she was!