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December 1, 2020

11/9/2020 11:52:00 AM
Dunbar, Darlene J. (Ariss)

Darlene J. (Ariss) Dunbar, age 81, of Mineral Point passed away peacefully on Saturday, November 7, 2020, at Bloomfield Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in rural Dodgeville.
She was born in Woodman Township (Grant County) on December 21, 1938, the daughter of Alfred and Lenice (Foster) Ariss. She attended elementary school in Millville, Wisconsin, and was graduated from Boscobel High School in 1956 and Vernon County Teachers' College in 1965. She taught elementary school in Wauzeka, Wisconsin, for one year before marrying the love of her life, Francis (Frank), on July 23, 1966, at the Little Brown Church in Nashua, Iowa.
Darlene's faith played a central role in her life. Raised Methodist, she converted to Catholicism and sacramentally married Frank at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Dodgeville, Wisconsin, on July 23, 1973 and became very involved in the Church, assuming leadership positions in the Catholic Daughters of the Americas and the Council of Catholic Women (at the local, county and diocesan levels). She also served the Congregation of Ss. Mary and Paul in Mineral Point as a religious education teacher, as the Coordinator of Religious Education for six years, and as a volunteer at innumerable activities for the parish, including initiating (with her daughter, Wendy) the pasty sale fundraisers which continue to this day.
While raising her three children, she ran an in-home child care (keeping in touch with many of her "kids" until the end of her life), sold Stanley Home products, decorated the most delicious cakes, and did sewing alterations for people all over the Mineral Point area for many years.
Mom's generosity to others was without bounds, and she was always there for anyone who needed a meal, a prayer, or just a friendly visit. She was very involved in her community, serving as a Cub Scout Den Leader, Cub Scout Cubmaster, Mineral Point Schools Music Booster officer, Loras College Parents' Advisory Council member, Iowa County Board of Elections canvasser (30 years), and American Red Cross blood drive coordinator (30 years). In 2017, she was honored and humbled to be recognized by American Legion Post 170 as the "Mineral Point Citizen of the Year."
She was a wonderful role model for her children and grandchildren, whom she adored with all her heart. She loved attending their events, bragging about their accomplishments, baking them yummy treats, teasing them lovingly, and just accepting them each for their own unique gifts.
Darlene is survived by her twin sons, Ronald (Julie) of DeForest and Donald (Sandy Sullivan-Dunbar) of Evanston, Illinois; her daughter, Wendy (John) Ondande of Oak Park, Illinois; her 10 grandchildren, Katie, Jacob (Kelsey Lange), and Michaela Dunbar, Ian and Cullen Dunbar, and Kemunto, Sagana, Moruri, Misiani, and Yobes Ondande; her sister-in-law, Audrey Ariss; her brother-in-law, Michael Flynn; her nieces, nephews, and godchild.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Frank, her parents, Alfred and Lenice, her sisters, Lillian and Betty, her brother, David, her nephew, Tom Flynn, and her brother-in-law, Ernie Buss.
Special thanks to Dr. Gordon Grieshaber, the wonderful staff at Bloomfield, and many special friends and amazing neighbors who cared for Mom so well. You will forever be in our hearts.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, November 14, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Mineral Point, with Fr. Michael Tarigopula officiating. Burial will be in the St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all services will be private with immediate family only.
The funeral will be live streamed from the St Mary & Paul's website. at 11:00 a.m.
Memorials made in Darlene's name will be given to the American Red Cross, also card memorials may be mailed in care of the Gorgen Funeral Home, 310 Ridge St., Mineral Point, WI 53565
Gorgen Funeral Home

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