In Memory of Darlene Kay Van Winkle

It is with loving respect and sadness that we announce the passing of Darlene Kay (Sprawls) Van Winkle on Monday, June 17, 2024, at the age of 87.

Born January 9, 1937, in Clovis New Mexico, Darlene was the 2nd child of Aubry and Gertrude Sprawls. Darlene was a beautiful girl raised in Farwell, TX, graduating from Farwell High School in 1954. She was selected as outstanding graduate with honors. She was an award-winning musician (voice, clarinet, and piano), athlete (basketball) and twirler. After high school, Darlene attended Eastern New Mexico University where she met the love of her life, Harold Van Winkle. They were married 67 years. Darlene was a wonderful mother to two children, Laura and Ken. Darlene and Harold lived in Clovis 1957-1959, Tucumcari 1959-1961, Alamogordo 1961-1975, and Albuquerque 1974-2022. Darlene was a superb musician, elementary teacher, and music educator. She first taught in Alamogordo at Holloman Air Force Base and Sierra Elementary School 1966-1975. After moving to Albuquerque in 1975, she taught at several elementary schools as a traveling music instructor. Darlene was awarded the John Bachelor Award for Excellence as the outstanding elementary music teacher in the state of New Mexico. After retiring from teaching, Darlene began years of service in Albuquerque as a volunteer with Meals on Wheels and later was a “voice over,” reading sections of the Albuquerque Journal for those who could not see. In addition, she was a beautiful woman who was hired as a model to promote professional woman’s clothing. In 2019 she moved back to Alamogordo with Harold to be closer to her children and out of the hustle and bustle of the big city.

Darlene was preceded in death by her parents, Aubry and Gertrude, and her brother, Duane and wife Jean. She is survived by her husband, Harold; daughter, Laura Duva and husband Rod; son, Ken and wife Eva; granddaughter, Amber and husband Jacob; great granddaughter Calla; Buddy, her four-legged companion she secretly fed under the table during meals.

There will not be a formal service. Darlene’s life will be celebrated at a private family gathering.

The Van Winkle family has entrusted their loved one to the care of Alamogordo Funeral Home.

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