Darlene Lorette Aiello
July 31,1938 - November 29,2022
Darlene is lovingly remembered by son Dean, family Lynne, Mitchell, Natalie, Christopher, Makaeli, Liam, Brynleigh, Katelyn, Colin
Maria Aiello,family Genico, Andrea, Rocco
Karen Maurage, James Lazaro, Kary, Candice
Close Friends Christine Hay, Florence Scalena and many more family and friends.
Darlene was born in Winnipeg on July 31st, 1938, to Lucienne Lavallee and Albert Chalkman. Darlene resided in Winnipeg her entire life. She was the eldest of four children Eileen, Darrel and Sharon. She attended School at St. Charles Convent, Kirkfield Park, Linwood, St. James Collegiate and Red River College.
At the age of 17 Darlene met Tony Aiello who was an aspiring electrician. They were married on December 10th, 1955. Darlene’s first and only child Dean was born on May 8th, 1956. She began working at Eatons, then pursued employment at CMHC, Acres International and ended her working career at Midcan Agency and Pins & Needles.
Darlene was extremely organized and particular; while Dean was growing up she earned the nicknamed Mrs. Clean. She was always following Tony and Dean around picking up, cleaning, and organizing the house just in case company came for a visit. Her desire to organize and clean followed her all her life, anyone who visited Darlene was always greeted by being told exactly where and what order to put their shoes on her welcome mat. She had dedicated days for vacuuming, dusting, watering her precious plants and cleaning many of her glass tables and shelving. She dusted on top her doors, picture frames and cupboards monthly, even when she began losing her mobility she insisted on maintaining her routine.
Everything in Darlene’s drawers was always neat and squarely folded. Everything in her cupboards and storage shelves was in order and were labelled. Her closets were always neatly organized, with all her shoes and close hangers faced in the same direction.
Since Darlene lived on her own for many years, she became very handy. She would re-arrange furniture, decorate, hang her own pictures, and wouldn’t think twice about patching and painting drywall. Everything she owned was spotless and organized, her vehicles looked like they just drove off the showroom floor.
She was also a bit of a gypsy moving every 5 years, her last move was from the fifth to a second-floor apartment where she decorated her balcony like a little piece of heaven with new carpet, plants, flowers and little gnome statues, which she insisted on sending to the family cottage because she wanted to share the special items she gathered and cherished over the years.
Darlene kept with her desire to organize things by volunteering on the Board of Directors at Betelstader Housing where she resided, by being on the membership committee. When illness forced her to resign, she was greatly missed.
A few years ago, Darlene had to sell her vehicle and she became dependent on family and friends to help her run errands, take her shopping and to appointments. She looked forward to her appointments and had everything perfectly organized, especially for her doctors. All her allergies, illnesses and medications were documented. Weekly she looked forward to a four - five hour shopping trip to Superstore or Costco, going up and down each aisle even though she knew exactly were everything was. Hair and Doctor appointments usually ended with a lunch for the driver at some of her favorite places. She loved Olive Garden, Tony Roma’s, The Forks, McDonalds and even the Hot Dogs at Costco.
As a Mother and Grandmother, Darlene was supportive, caring and understanding. Always willing to listen and comfort while offering advice, many from her own life experiences. She would always put family ahead of herself and proclaimed Sundays as Grandma Days for her grandchildren.
As a friend she was always dedicated, loyal and private. She looked forward to card and game nights, visits and lunches with her special friends Maria, Florence and Christine. She often talked about get togethers with her family and friends. Darlene loved barbeques and outside gatherings, she recently reminisced about a barbeque last summer with two of her nieces (Candice and Karen). She talked about Jo-Jo’s Lemon potatoes, cinnamon buns, and how she wanted Lynne to hold Jo-Jo down on a recent visit so she would stop tempting them with some of her recipes..
For the Grey Cup Game Darlene put in a special request for deviled eggs and rijolies which she took to the games room to share at the hospice. Then she joked about how she had to wrestle the food from one of her neighbours and had to control herself from shouting at the opposing team.
Darlene was a fighter, she loved life. She always talked about beating this cancer and living until she was 100. She took chemotherapy and was willing to do whatever she had to so she could spend more time with family and friends.
But by the end of August, she was beginning to weaken, her mobility was limited, and the pain became the focus of the day. After a short stay at Riverview Hospital, she was transferred to the Grace Hospice which she described as her all-inclusive resort. She loved the bubble baths, the view of the park, her little squirrel, and the rest of the wildlife. She looked forward to having the bird feeder refilled, the homestyle cooking, visits with the volunteers, family, and friends. Her room was next to an outdoor gazebo which we used at thanksgiving and Lynne’s birthday. There were outdoor walking trails in the park behind and around the hospice that Darlene loved to travel in her wheelchair. Often she and would question Lynne about her wheelchair pushing abilities. Jokingly saying she couldn’t believe Lynne did it for a living because they almost lost control a few times.
Darlene organized and picked her final resting place at Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens facing South and overlooking the Garden Pond.
She left us saying that " Our Love is the Wind Beneath Her Wings"
Special Thanks to the Staff at the Grace Hospice and Maria Aiello for helping and guiding Darlene and family thru this difficult time.
Any donations can be directed to the Grace Hospice.