Darlene J. (Hensman) Eledge

Darlene J. (Hensman) Eledge

August 10, 1933 – February 16, 2022

Preceded in death by husband, John Eledge; parents, Eugene and Doris Hensman; son -in-law, Robert Henkel; granddaughter, Carly Henkel; sister and brother-in-law, Barbara Crowell (Deryl) ; brother, Tim Hensman.  Survived by sons, Kirk (Cele), Robert (Pam); daughters, Joan Henkel, Carol Clark (Joe); 13 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren.

Graduated from Omaha Tech High School in 1950 and married John H. Eledge on March 1, 1952.  After raising her children, Darlene worked and retired from the phone company.

Family requests visitors to wear masks.  VISITATION: Sunday, February 20th from 1pm to 3pm at the West Center Chapel.  Memorials are suggested to Make a Wish Foundation.


Preceded in death by husband, John Eledge; parents, Eugene W. and Doris Hensman; son-in-law, Robert Henkel; great-granddaughter, Carly Henkel; sister and brother-in-law, Barbara Crowell (Deryl); brother, Tim Hensman.    Survived by daughters, Joan Henkel (Rob), Carol Clark (Joe); sons, Kirk (Cele) and Rob (Pam); 13 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren.

Darlene Jean was born in Omaha, Nebraska, to parents, Eugene and Doris Hensman.  She spent her childhood days with sister, Barbara, and brother, Tim, in a farmhouse located near 74th and Center Street.  Darlene attended Loveland Grade School, skipping kindergarten because of advanced intelligence, allowing her to graduate from Omaha Technical High School class of 1950 at the age of 17. 

In 1946, the family moved into a newly built home near 60th and Grover Street, located directly across from Shepherd Hay and Feed.  The home became a well-known gathering place for families such as the Wilkinsons, Wohlers, Lobbs, Flinns, Robinsons, Haschkes, Paulsens, Roots, Rusers, Markeys, Crowells and Burks to just name a few.  This home still remains in the family, occupied by Darlene’s youngest son, Rob, who continues the practice of laying out the welcome mat to all who love a good old fashion get-together. 

Darlene married John Eledge on March 1, 1952.  She was smitten by his good looks, charm, velvet singing voice and reputation as someone who knew how to have a darn good time.  John was the love of her life and the target of many of her April Fool’s Day pranks.  From this union came four children.  She taught them to respect others, especially the elderly, minimize the complaining, enjoy life and to recognize the fun in a good practical joke.  Darlene shared with all her children and some grandchildren what she would say was one of her greatest disappointments……her runner-up finish in the Miss America Pageant.  She knew how to set the hook and then she would reel you in.  Admired as one of her greatest assets was her ability to make each grandchild feel that he/she was grandma’s favorite one.

After raising her children, Darlene returned to work for Ma Bell and retired from the phone company in 1990.  She continued to work part-time jobs until the young age of eighty-seven.  This extra income allowed her and her friends to visit local restaurants and provide for family members a pretty accurate rating system on service, quality of product and economical value.  These ladies were blogging before there were blogs.  Darlene valued her friendships and very much looked forward to their many get togethers.

Widowed in 1988, Darlene never remarried.  She lived independently in her home and drove a car right up until the day she passed.  Darlene was as honest as the day was long, genuinely kind, humorously witty and let us not forget about that sharp mind of hers.  After all, they did bump her straight to the first grade!

Darlene is gone but will not be forgotten.  She taught her children the importance of bringing the families together for good conversation, laughter and the sharing of food and drink.  They have taught their children that same family value.  Therefore, Darlene’s life story will not be lost; it will be passed from generation to generation.

The family will have a Celebration of Life Visitation and receive friends and family on Sunday, February 20, 2022, 1:00 to 3:00pm.  Memorials may be directed to the Make A Wish Foundation.




  • Rick and Patty Posted February 17, 2022 8:58 pm

    We are so sorry for your loss 🙏❤️

  • McCallum Michelle Posted February 18, 2022 6:28 am


  • Don & Patty Clark Posted February 18, 2022 1:02 pm

    Our thoughts and prayers are with the family may you find comfort knowing she’s watching over you 🙏

  • Dennis and Tina Clark and family Posted February 18, 2022 6:29 pm

    Sending our condolences to you all. May you find peace, and cherish the memories of her life dear to your hearts Sending hugs and love family.

  • Keith Crowell Posted February 19, 2022 9:08 am

    sorry for your loss, our thoughts and prayers are with you

  • Mark and Kathy Semerad Posted February 19, 2022 12:41 pm

    So sorry to hear of your loss. We are thinking of you.

  • Tony and Ronda Lewis Posted February 20, 2022 8:25 am

    To the Clark and Eledge family, we are praying for you all. As you prepare to lay your beautiful mother to rest, may you find peace and comfort in the Lord. Mrs. Eledge will be missed.

  • Carla Pospisal Posted February 20, 2022 10:29 am

    Thank you for the thoughtful, well written tribute to your mother, Darlene Eledge. It was many, many years ago when I first stepped foot in the Eledge home. What an experience it was. The house was full with laughter and music. It wasn’t the typical family gathering. Each room was packed with family members and friends. I met future wives and husbands. And then an Eddie Arnold song played, and John would sing Make The World Go Away. Everyone laughed when Darlene admitted that she never learned to whistle—and she would make several attempts to try and whistle. The Eledge family created the best memories for me.

    And now we are in 2022. Last year I went to Rob’s fourth of July party. I noticed that not much had changed. There is still a lot of laughter and love. It was impressive to see that the Eledge tradition of gathering continues just as it did back in 1975 when i first walked into the Eledge home on 23rd

    Thanks for the memories!

  • Dean Crowell Posted February 23, 2022 5:10 pm

    Many great memories with Aunt Darlene

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