died August 5, 2023, in Fremont, Nebraska.
She was a daughter of Peter and Mary (Vlcan) Chvala and was born in Monowi, Nebraska on December 9, 1936. She graduated from Lynch High School in 1954. She received her teaching certificate and taught until the early 1960's in the Lynch and Monowi area. She married Donald 'Dude' Darnell on June 5, 1957, in Lynch, Nebraska. Five children were born to them: Esther, Dave, Guy, Marc, and Mary Ellen. They lived in Lynch until moving to the Hooper and Winslow area in the late 1960's. She was a member of St. Rose Catholic Church.
She quit teaching to raise her family. In 1980 she became postmaster of Winslow, Nebraska, retiring after nearly 3 decades. She was a wonderful gardener. There were always plenty of tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers, and her yard was filled with colorful flowers during the summer months. She liked watching Nascar races and baseball on TV. Puzzles were an enjoyable pastime. She was always eager to see her grandkids. She liked attending their sporting events, music programs, and any other activities they were involved with. She was happy to babysit, which she did quite often. She was great at throwing tea parties, playing bingo, and feeding them homemade goodies. She was an amazing Grandma.
She was kind, soft-spoken, and an all-around lovely person. She had a good sense of humor and was able to take a joke. She was a great person to laugh with. She had many friends who enjoyed visiting with her. Her weekly group, which met every Thursday, was something she always looked forward to.
She is survived by her five children, five grandchildren, and six great grandchildren. They include daughter Esther Daugherty (Gene), grandson Josh Daugherty (J.J.); son Dave Darnell; son Guy Darnell (Pattie), granddaughter Kari Buckingham (Ryan), great grandsons Tyson, Bryton, Wyatt, and great granddaughter Pyper; grandson Brady Darnell (Alex), great grandsons Carson and Tatum; son Marc Darnell; daughter Mary Ellen Darnell and granddaughters Mary Elizabeth (Minny) and Mary Grace (Gracy).
Mary was the eldest of seven children. She leaves all 6 siblings behind. They include brothers Jim (Kathy), Tom (Jan), Steve (Linda), Pete (Debbie), and sisters Tess Schwager, and Anna (Dick) Steinbach.
She was preceded in death by her parents, brother-in-law Nook Schwager, sister-in-law Mary Anne Chvala, brother-in-law Jack Darnell and his wife Mary Ann, and the family dog Sande, who enjoyed her pancakes. Her husband, Dude, passed away in 1996 and she'd missed him greatly ever since. After he passed, she'd said she was still married - he just wasn't with her. They enjoyed many things together in life. Watching him win trophies while racing car #54 with Pecenas was an early highlight of their marriage. She also enjoyed sitting on the back of his motorcycle traveling anywhere, attending polka dances, sitting on the patio having a beer, ''donating'' money to numerous casinos, and taking all 5 kids on a vacation every summer. It could be Worlds of Fun, The Black Hills, or camping. Together, they were wonderful parents, we were so fortunate to have them, and they will be missed.
Visitation, open to the public, will be Monday, August 14, 2023 at the Ludvigsen Mortuary Chapel in Fremont from 3pm to 8pm. A private funeral will be held with burial in the Logan Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to the family.
Ludvigsen Mortuary in Fremont in charge of arrangements.
Online guestbook at www.Ludvigsenmortuary.com