Cover photo for Darlene Madge McManus's Obituary
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1933 Darlene 2022

Darlene Madge McManus

December 27, 1933 — October 25, 2022

Our beloved mother, Darlene Madge McManus, age 88, passed away on October 25, 2022, in Spokane, WA. She will be dearly missed by all who knew her.

 

Darlene was born December 27, 1933, in Missoula, MT, to Monte and Dorothy Keough. She was their first child and was quickly joined by two little sisters, Shirley and Norma. Darlene and her sisters spent their early years in MT, following their railroad-man father as he struggled to support his little girls during the Great Depression. It was a difficult childhood during a difficult time, but in many ways it shaped Darlene into the strong, hardworking, family-oriented person she became.

 

In 1943, her family settled in Lind, WA (or “Warshington” as Darlene would say). She graduated from Lind High School in 1951.

 

After graduation she moved to Spokane, WA, to attend Kinman Business College. On a school break to visit her family in Sandpoint, ID, she met the love of her life, Patrick F. McManus, who was friends with Darlene’s cousin, Bob Keough. When Bob showed Darlene’s graduation photo to Pat, he said, “I’m gonna marry that girl!”. Pat invited Darlene to go roller-skating with him and thus began a love story that lasted 64 years until Pat’s death in 2018.

 

After graduating from Kinman, Darlene moved to Pullman, WA, where Pat was an art major at WSU. They married on February 3, 1954, and soon welcomed the first of four daughters. It was then that Pat changed his major to English, as he quickly realized he would actually need to make a living to support his growing family.

 

Darlene put her secretarial skills to good use over the early years, helping put Pat through college and graduate school. Her heart was always to be at home, though, and in the mid 60’s she became a full-time homemaker. She now had time to pursue her numerous passions. Darlene became an accomplished photographer, a masterful organic gardener (before that was even a thing), and a skilled potter. She also loved music and was an avid reader of nonfiction.

 

While their daughters were still young, Pat and Darlene took them to live for several months at a time in both England and Mexico. These experiences inspired Darlene to become a world traveler, while simultaneously squelching Pat’s desire to ever travel again. Eventually, Darlene visited all seven continents. Her favorite was Antartica.

 

Darlene was an exceptionally level-headed and skilled outdoorswoman who could identify nearly every wildflower, mushroom, and bird in the Pacific Northwest. She also had an excellent sense of direction, which came in handy since her family enjoyed almost constant misadventures in the wilderness. Pat went on to become a best-selling humor writer, where he recounted many hilarious outdoor antics, which often included his stoic wife and terrified children.

 

Darlene was famous, or perhaps infamous, for the meals she concocted with the wild food the family foraged. Some were successful, but many became part of the family lore that makes her daughters laugh to this day.

 

As Pat’s fame as a humor writer grew, Darlene became known to fans as his long-suffering wife, “Bun”. But in real life, Darlene was never called “Bun”. When they were dating, Pat gave his always petite wife the affectionate name of "Moose" and Moose she was from then on.

 

Moose, er Darlene, was always credited by Pat for his success as a humor writer. Not only did she play a huge role in many of his outdoor adventures, but she was his trusted editor and business manager. She was the test for all his humor and was not one to fake anything, especially laughter. Pat knew if he could make Darlene laugh, then it was genuinely funny.

 

Pat was the center of Darlene's life and their love story continues. She will be laid to rest back where it all began in Sandpoint next to the love of her life.

 

Interment will take place at Pinecrest Cemetery following a small funeral Mass at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church on November 4, 2022 at 11:00 m with Father Rob Cook officiating.

 

Darlene is survived by her sister Norma, daughters Kelly, Shannon, Peggy, and Erin, nine grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and her beloved cat, Sammie.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Darlene Madge McManus, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

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Friday, November 4, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Pacific time)

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