Darleen (Jantzen) Bewley

Darleen (Jantzen) Bewley Darleen Marie Bewley went to be with the Lord on Thursday, April 25, 2013, after a long battle with illness. Her husband of 53 years, Bill, was at her side as she peacefully died.

Her memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 11, at 11 a.m. at the Madera Avenue Bible Church at the corner of Madera Avenue (Hwy. 145) and Walnut Street in Madera.

Darleen was a really great wife, mother of two, lifelong teacher, member of Madera Republican Women, membership chairman of the California Retired Teachers Association and great supporter of the San Francisco Giants and 49ers. She loved needlepoint crafts and contract bridge.

Darleen was born to Bill and Anna Jantzen in Aberdeen, Idaho, during a heavy snowstorm on Jan. 3, 1933. Her father had to drive a sleigh into town to get a doctor. When they arrived the next day, Darleen’s mother had placed her in a shoebox to keep her warm in a very cold house.

Farm life taught her about hard work, and that work ethic carried her through the rest of her life. Her two brothers, Bill and Larry, also worked the farm. In 1946, the family sold the farm in Idaho and moved to Madera, Calif. They bought a farm in the Dixieland area. They attended the Mennonite Brethren Church and the Dixieland Elementary School across from the church.

Darleen was very intelligent, and upon graduation she was awarded the American Legion “Outstanding Student” award. She and her brothers were baptized in “Dry Creek” (wet sometimes) near Avenue 16 and Road 21, where they promised to be good Christians and vowed to work hard to do much for God and humanity. She and her brothers have continued in that tradition with all for whom they have worked. A sister, Charlotte, was then born later in 1948.

Darleen graduated from Madera High School in 1951 and Fresno State College in 1955. She then earned her teaching credential in business education. Her first teaching job was at Laton High School; later she taught at Central High School.

She went camping at Bass Lake and met the love of her life, Bill, who was camping and water skiing. They met again at Bass Lake and agreed to date more, which was difficult because Bill worked at the Naval Ordnance Test Station 240 miles away. On their third date, they agreed to be married, but had to wait nearly a year since she had signed a contract to teach at Central (teachers could not break contracts in those days).

They were married in June 1960 in Madera and honeymooned in Mexico. Upon their return, Bill had purchased a home in Ridgecrest, where he worked.

Darleen got a teaching job at Burroughs High School. Two years later daughter Cheryl was born, and four years later Kevin was born.

Darleen served the students in many ways, not only in the classroom, but also as advisor to the Future Business Leaders of America. Her students won many local and national awards, and Darleen won the National Advisor of the Year award in Houston, Texas.

When she retired in 1989, they moved to Madera to be near her family.

During their life together, Bill and Darleen traveled to many places in the United States and abroad, including England, Ireland, France, Canada, China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Hawaii, Central America, South America and Mexico.

Darleen will be greatly missed by many here on earth.

She is survived by her husband Bill, daughter Cheryl Johnson, son Kevin Bewley and wife Karrie, and granddaughters Cambra and Haylie Johnson and Kaylynn Bewley. She is also survived by her brothers Bill and Larry Jantzen and her sister Charlotte Williams as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her parents Bill and Anna Jantzen.

Submitted by the family of Darleen Bewley

Story First Published: 2013-05-01