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Darlene Alette (Dirks) Wighs

March 6, 1934 ~ April 23, 2021 (age 87)

Obituary

Darlene Alette Wighs, 87, of Salina, went home to her savior, Jesus Christ, on Friday, April 23, 2021.  She passed away peacefully at her home, surrounded by loved ones.  Darlene was born on March 6, 1934, in Richey, Montana, to the late Lawrence Randolph Dirks and Selma Pearl (Mickelson) Dirks.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Leslie Wighs; son, Jerry Wighs; daughter-in-law, Freida Wighs; infant daughter, Sheree Wighs; and cousin, Harris Olson.

Darlene grew up in Montana, Washington, and North Dakota farm country, alongside her younger brother, Lonny, and older cousin, Harris.

Darlene attended high school in Velva, North Dakota.  It was there that she met her sweetheart and future husband of fifty years, Leslie Robert Wighs.  Together they had three children: Terry, Jerry, and Sheree.  The family shared countless adventures across the country, traveling for work and living in several states.  Some of her family’s fondest memories include trips to the beach, campfires at night, and waking up to the smell of cooking bacon and eggs over the campfire.

One of Darlene’s greatest accomplishments in life was working for NASA and JPL, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in La Canada, California.  She worked at the forefront of space technology as a JPL technician.  Darlene worked on Voyager I and Voyager II, as well as the Viking Project.  She was one of two women selected to join the reassembling team for launch at Cape Canaveral, Florida.

In her later years, Darlene was a loving grandmother and granny.  She adored her time spent with her “sweeties.” Treasured memories include fishing, boating, swimming, camping, riding the three-wheeler, enjoying her incredible cooking, playing cribbage and other card games, lots of cuddling, and secret trips to the toy store.

Darlene will be remembered for her bright and beautiful smile, contagious laughter, and incredible soprano voice.  She was everyone’s number one fan.  Never without her lipstick, she carried herself with style and grace.  She will be dearly missed.

Survivors include her son, Dr. Terry Wighs (Debbie); brother, Lonny Dirks (Sandy); granddaughters, Sarah Sullivan (Derek) and Kathryn Shaft (Travis); grandsons, Robert Wighs (Kelly) and Josh Wighs; niece, Kim White (Mark); and nephews, Darren (Roberta) and Justin (Mallorie); great-granddaughters, Brynn, Elin, and Paige Shaft; and great-grandsons, Tommy and Sam.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 27, at Ryan Mortuary, Salina.  Memorial gifts may be made to Hospice of Salina, in care of Ryan Mortuary.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Darlene Alette (Dirks) Wighs, please visit our floral store.


Services

Memorial Service
Tuesday
April 27, 2021

2:00 PM
Ryan Mortuary
137 N 8th St
Salina, KS 67401

Donations

Hospice of Salina
730 Holly Ln, Salina KS 67401
Tel: 1-785-825-1717
Email: hospice@srhc.com
Web: http://www.hospiceofsalina.org/

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