Darlene 'Jeff' Vahlkamp
Darlene “Jeff” Vahlkamp, 82, of Faribault, Minn., formerly of Columbus, Neb. died Sunday, April 21, 2019 at The Emeralds at Faribault.
A memorial service in celebration of her life will be held at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Columbus on Friday, May 17 at 11 a.m.
To honor her love of birds, especially cardinals, memorials may be made to Audubon Nebraska (http://ne.audubon.org/)
Darlene “Jeff” Vahlkamp was born Nov. 18, 1936 in Norfolk to William and Frieda (Appel) Jeffries. She attended grade school and high school in Norfolk and resided there until she met the love of her life, Del Vahlkamp, while on a blind date. The two were married Nov. 30, 1958 and blessed with four children, Cyndi (1959), Cathy (1960), Mike (1967), and Kim (1976). Throughout her life she lived in many places such as: Wichita Kan., Wayne, Lincoln, Washington D.C., Columbus and Faribault.
Darlene had a great sense of humor; cherished taking her GTE co-workers under her wing and watching them grow; and cheered as any super fan would for her favorite Nebraska Cornhuskers. She also loved jewelry – wearing it as well as selling it at Crown Jewelry; perfectly pink manicured nails were a trademark. She doted on her two cats - and then there was Garfield. There were Christmas ornaments and pillow cases, a PEZ dispenser and of course a phone in his likeness. She traveled to Iowa to see the covered bridges of Madison County, went to a Neil Diamond concert with her daughters when she was in her 70s, knitted dish cloths and gifted them to family and friends. She had an interest in all things British Royal Family, developed an uncanny liking for candied spearmint leaves dipped in peanut butter. She was known for gifting $2 bills - they really are magical money, and mom made sure that every return visit to Columbus included Runza.
Survivors include her daughters, Cathy and (John) Schulz of Faribault, Minn. and Kim and (Brad) Steele of Spring Creek, Nev. and a son, Mike Vahlkamp of Columbus; grandchildren, Claire, Nora, Kyle, Esai and Bodhi and her great-grandson, Carson.
She was preceded in death by her husband Del; daughter, Cyndi; parents; siblings, Bud Jeffries, Dortha Nelson and Jimmy Ray Jeffries and two nephews.