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Darlene "Jeff" Vahlkamp

Darlene "Jeff" Vahlkamp

November 18, 1936 -- April 21, 2019

Darlene "Jeff" Vahlkamp, 82, of Faribault, Minnesota, formerly of Columbus, passed away on Sunday, April 21, 2019, at the Emeralds at Faribault.

A memorial service in celebration of Darlene's life will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 17, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Columbus, with the Rev. Patrick Sparling officiating. Interment will be at 1 p.m. on Friday in the Columbus Cemetery. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until service time on Friday at the church. To honor her love of birds, especially cardinals, we ask that memorials be made to Audubon Nebraska (http:/ne.audubon.org/).

Mom was born on 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 on 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, Kansas, Wayne, Lincoln, Washington D.C., Columbus and Faribault, Minnesota.

Mom was more than just the facts we have shared here. She 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. Mom 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. Other things you may not have known – 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 seventies, knitted dish clothes 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 Hut. We will spend a lifetime holding these and many more memories close to our hearts.

She is survived by daughters, Cathy (John) Schulz of Faribault, Minnesota, and Kim (Brad) Steele of Spring Creek, Nevada; and a son, Mike Vahlkamp of Columbus. She cherished her grandchildren Claire, Nora, Kyle, Esai and Bodhi, and her great-grandson Carson - they will miss her endless love and generous spirit.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Del; daughter, Cyndi; parents; siblings, Bud Jeffries, Dortha Nelson and Jimmy Ray Jeffries; and two nephews.

Condolences may be sent to www.gasshaney.com.

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