Darlene Mae Palmer passed on May 5, 2021 in Winter Haven, FL. Please join us in the celebration of life for Darlene at 2:00 PM, August 7, 2021 in the Brainerd Central Lakes College gymnasium. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be directed to the CLC and designated to the Darlene Palmer Endowment for Women’s Athletics. Checks can be mailed to: CLC Foundation, 501 west College Dr. Brainerd, MN 56401 – Please make checks payable to the CLC Foundation.
Darlene was born to Joseph and Anne Langlois in Ashland, WI June 19, 1928. She graduated from Mankato State Teachers College in 1951 with a degree in physical education and biology. She married Harold Palmer in Wisconsin Rapids, WI February 16. 1952.
Darlene is survived by her husband Harold, son Michael Palmer (Maureen) and daughter Betsy Krause (Eric), 10 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. She was proceeded in death by her parents and her beloved daughter Patricia Bjerken.
Darlene was a pioneer in women’s sports at CLC (then BCC) where she was the first women’s athletic director, and first women’s coach of volleyball, basketball, golf, tennis, and softball. Darlene along with other community colleges coaches, helped with the implementation of Title IX in the community college system. She loved to coach but she also loved to compete. She won the women’s golf championship at Brainerd Country Club multiple times, the women’s championship at Carefree and won multiple metals at the Polk Senior Games and was a 600-club member during her bowling days.
She was loved by many and her loss will be deeply felt for years to come.