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Bobbie "Darlene" McKenzie
Birth: Feb. 9, 1953
Muncie
Delaware County
Indiana, USA
Death: Oct. 14, 2012
Yorktown
Delaware County
Indiana, USA

My beloved, beloved mother. There are no words. I cannot do her justice yet. Please pray for our family.

Bobbie "Darlene" McKenzie passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, October 14, 2012.

She will be remembered by all who knew her as a woman with the greatest love for her family and friends.

She was born in Muncie on February 9, 1953. She was the daughter of Ina and Richard Blanch, Stanley and Jean Crawford, and Thomas Kennedy. She attended schools at Montpelier and Blackford High School. She worked for many years as a CNA at Millers' Merry Manor in Warsaw, The Waters of Yorktown, The Waters (Chateau) of Muncie, Muncie Health Care and Rehabilitation, and Westminster Village of Muncie before becoming an activity director. She had recently retired from work to spend more time with her family. The greatest joy of her life was her family. Darlene was a member of Mount Olive Freewill Baptist Church.

Darlene is survived by four children, Crystal (husband Shawn) Phillips, Muncie, E Phillip (wife, Renee) Gregg Jr., Yorktown, Joseph (companion, Amanda Roseberry) Gregg, Yorktown, and Melissa (husband, Michael) Bromwell, Muncie; ten grandchildren, Brianna Smart, Jake Smart, Taylor Ingram, Sydney Ingram and Paige Phillips; AJ Gregg and Drew Gregg, Allison Bromwell, Tristan Parrish, and Aidan Bromwell; four step-children, Debbie (husband, Wayne) Ertle, Sandy Baxley, Alicia (husband, Bobby) Green, and Keno (wife, Tiffany) McKenzie; step-grandchildren, Ian, Jan, Camren, and Dryden McKenzie, April, Angie, and Angel McKenzie, McKenzie and Lacey Graham; Stacy, Tana, and Ricky Goodpaster, Jason and Mason Green; three siblings, Marlene (husband, William) Hileman, Vickie Crawford, and Tony (wife, Lisa) Crawford; her step-father, Richard (companion, Martha) Blanch; two beloved aunts, Christine Duncan and Jeri (husband, Glen) Ingram; her brother-in-law, John E. McKenzie; she also had several step-great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and very close cousins.

She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Jack D McKenzie; her parents, Ina Blanch, Stanley Crawford, and Thomas Kennedy; two daughters, Jerri Christiana and Ina Nicole Brumblough; two brothers, Stanley and Allen Crawford, and her precious grandmother, Livvie McCowan.

Here is the eulogy that I wrote and read at her funeral:

I don't think our mom ever realized how important she was to the world. We want our last gift to her to be telling the world that we know how important, wanted, and needed she was.

You all have your own memories of Mom. I am confident that many of them are filled with humor and drama and despite her being 59, there are probably some of naivety and innocence. Mom wasn't too impressed with all the trials, tribulations, and tasks of every day adult life.

You might have been on a shopping trip at Castleton Mall and worn shoes that hurt your feet. Mom wanted to fix it, so she generously offered you the shoes off of her own feet. But you refused to trade her. And then without warning she sat her derriere down in the middle of the Castleton Mall refusing to take another step unless you wore her shoes. And you might have been one of her cheeky daughters who walked away and snapping pictures of her sitting there.

Maybe you made a pilgrimage to Kentucky or Tennessee with her. She made plenty. You might have accidentally thrown your Granny's teeth away, and had Darlene shove you out the door of the cabin to go back down the mountain and find them in the trashcan when all along they were on her dresser! Or you might have been cleaning off the leaves and old flowers at Pine Ridge when she got stung by a bee. Or as she referred to it for days, when she was "snake bit!", since we didn't actually find the offender, "snake bit" she was.

You could have been a grandchild who somehow talked her into sliding down a five-story water slide even though she was petrified of water and watched her plunge in and come up thrashing and screaming. Only to realize a minute later, the water was only three feet deep.

And I bet a good number of you have been in the car with her when a rummage sale caught her eye. I'm sorry, were you expecting a warning before she took that corner on two wheels at 60 mph so she didn't miss it?

I know all of you have had to find her glasses, keys, or phone at least once. Facebook messages en masse that said, "Call me please, I lost my phone again."

I know if you ever spent a Thanksgiving with her you watched her comb the ads and establish her battle plan employing every kid and grandkid she could enlist for the 4 a.m. attack.

If you have opened her refrigerator to find a coke, you know where all the secret compartments are where she hides her emergency coca-cola's. You did NOT drink the last cold coke!

She couldn't stand it if her children bickered. It wasn't allowed. Not even for a day. We thought of it as meddling, but she would drive you crazy pestering you to make up. And it wasn't just us. She'd pester her siblings about it, too if they were not getting along. Mom was always on a mission to fix us all.

Memories of her have raced through our minds. My siblings and I have talked and sobbed and laughed. Poured over pictures and songs together. Her daughters and sons, daughters in law and sons in law, and grandchildren. You may not have even seen or heard from any of us much this entire week. We have spent most of it closed up together. United, and supportive and committed to each other and our mother. And only three days after she was gone did I realize why we were able to do this. Her love. Her absolute, consuming love of us. This is her legacy.

She made us strong, when she never felt strong herself. She gave us confidence, even living the last 18 months of her life more insecure than she had ever been. Her love made us strong. Her love made us confident. It was always her love. It wasn't her expert parenting; she made plenty of mistakes. It wasn't because she always had the right answers; sometimes she didn't know what to tell us. But her love was so constant and unwavering. That is where strength comes from. That is where success comes from. That is where confidence comes from. It all comes from pure love. It comes from having someone always believe in you. She believed in all of us. She believed in us no matter what we did. She picked us up every time we fell. Every dream we ever had she believed we would achieve it. It wasn't just children, grandchildren, and siblings. She believed in everyone she loved. And when she believed in you, you had her loyalty for life.

Years ago when she first started as an activity director, there was a young singer named Todd Berry who she would book to entertain her residents. Mom loved him. I mean she believed he was the next Elvis and that she had discovered him. He played at several family weddings, reunions, parties, and funerals all at her request. She booked him over and over again. She bought all of his cds. She tried to marry her daughters off to him before we were married. She even renewed the efforts last year by telling a granddaughter she needed to grow up and marry Todd's son. She believed in Todd. She loved Todd. Todd couldn't be here today. He was very upset to hear she was gone and he wrote her a song and asked us to share the lyrics with you today. He plans to write music for it later. If you knew how much mom loved Todd, you know this a tribute she would cherish.

There was a lady that I knew she believed in me and what I do
Not just a fan she was a friend an inspiration still within
the heart of me and every song she was the one who cheered me on
seems yesterday I saw her face out in the crowd from the stage
In a flash without a trace they say she's gone to another place.

Darlene there's no in between
you were the best we've ever seen
Darlene spread your wings
It's time to see what heaven means.

They say that night she fell asleep prayed to the lord her soul to keep.
Some people die before they wake without a clue that this is their fate.
No guarantees on the gift of life take what you're given and do what's right

Darlene there's no in between
you were the best we've ever seen
Darlene spread your wings
It's time to see what heaven means.

There was a lady that I knew she believed in me and what I do
so today I sing in memory of one sweet lady that many love.

You know, mom became a grandma when she was only 35. She was really insistent that she have a cooler name than just "Grandma." She tried to make Brianna call her MiMi and it just never stuck. I even have lots of cards and letters signed "Mimi", but Grandma it was and she couldn't change it. But about 18 months ago, mom had to step up in a new roll. One of her grandsons has autism, and she became committed to his success. She ordered books off Amazon and spent hours trying to teach and discipline herself to fit his needs. At 3, his words just weren't seeming to come. Then one day, a new word rang out loud and clear and it was GiGi. And there was no doubt who GiGi was. And something about GiGi unlocked something inside him and that ability to understand each other was there for them. And GiGi knew everything he loved. GiGi was his Captain Hook and he was Pirate Jake and they were so funny to watch. Rummage sales became treasure hunts and he and his GiGi had grand times together. I hear him talk now. So many things he says. Everything you could ever imagine, he can say it now. And his love has grown to every family member and friend that he meets. And I know that it is because GiGi loved him and believed in him. Because that is what she did.

She cried to me once that it hurt that she thought her children didn't need her. I gave her a pep talk about need and want. How that was an indication of success as a parent. How it was a good thing that your children grow up and not need you because one day you will not be there and they will have to do it without you. That she should focus on want. That we wanted to be with our mom. We wanted to be together holidays, sporting events, family achievements and special trips. But we were both so wrong. We did need her. We needed her love so we could keep being strong. So we could overcome our obstacles. So we could be successful in life and as parents ourselves. Nothing of who we are is a coincidence. It is because she loved us. She loved us all and in honoring our mother, I beg you to love each other that same way.

I bought my mother a book called "Memories for my Grandchild." She didn't finish all the pages in it. But I want to share one page with you. The question was what was the first funeral she remembered, then asked about the last one she attended. Her entry was this. "The last funeral I attended was the hardest and it was my husband's. He died April 19th, 2011 unexpectedly. Without the strong support of my children and grandchildren I am uncertain if I could have handled it. No funeral is easy to attend, but as my faith has grown stronger I am certain that my loved ones are together, and I too will join them some day. And what a wonderful reunion it will be." 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Marion Thomas Kennedy (1932 - 1975)
  Ina Mae McCowan Blanch (1937 - 1991)
 
 Spouses:
  Jimmy Lou Brumblough (1950 - 1976)
  Thomas Richard Williams (1947 - 2003)
  Jack David McKenzie (1932 - 2011)
 
 Children:
  Jerri Christiana Brumblough (1969 - 1969)*
  Ina Nicole Brumblough (1970 - 1970)*
 
 Siblings:
  Bobbie "Darlene" McKenzie (1953 - 2012)
  Allen Wayne Crawford (1954 - 2005)**
  Stanley Ervin Crawford (1955 - 1955)**
 
*Calculated relationship
**Half-sibling
 
Burial:
Gardens of Memory
Muncie
Delaware County
Indiana, USA
 
Created by: Crystal
Record added: Oct 16, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 98993265
Bobbie Darlene McKenzie
Added by: David Kennedy
 
Bobbie Darlene McKenzie
Added by: Crystal
 
Bobbie Darlene McKenzie
Added by: Crystal
 
 
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Dear Mom, I just want to see you, hear you, tell you I love you. Just one more time.
- Crystal
 Added: Jul. 9, 2014
Rest in peace,your Family will always be your Family,forever.
- Bruce Nuckowski
 Added: Jul. 2, 2014

- Kat
 Added: May. 23, 2014
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