Darlene Andersen, age 96, passed away on November 3, 2021, in Bloomington, MN, after a full and active life. Born Leola Darlene Egli on August 27, 1925, Darlene grew up in Manson, IA, and still has deep family roots there. She brought into the world and shared her life freely with her four children, Bill Klotz (deceased), Connie Klotz of Minnetonka, MN; Ted Klotz of Chaska, MN; and Curt Klotz (spouse, Teresa) of Minneapolis, MN. Connie, Ted, and Curt were able to surround Darlene with care and attention over the past several years after she moved to Minnesota from Spirit Lake, IA.
Darlene is survived by five grandchildren in whom she took great pride – Karen Klotz, of Price, UT; Zev Kujolic of Phoenix, AZ; Ruby Kujolic of Phoenix, AZ; Georgia Klotz of Bloomington, MN; and Stevenson Klotz of Ames, IA – and one great granddaughter, Amanda Klotz of Fruita, CO.
Darlene was the last surviving child of Bill and Anna Egli of Manson, whose seven children (Irene, Lloyd, Leonard, Darlene, Betty, Donna, and Norma) formed the nucleus of the Egli clan. The offspring of the Egli clan are affectionately known as the Egli Cousins (more than two dozen of them). The Egli Cousins and their extended families still gather from time to time in the Manson or Humboldt, IA areas for lively reunions.
Darlene’s long life was shared with three husbands, all of whom preceded her in death. Edward Klotz (formerly of Manson), with whom Darlene had her children. Allan Frahm (formerly of Spirit Lake), with whom she shared a great joy of the Iowa Great Lakes. Ernest “Sam” Andersen (formerly of Spirit Lake) with whom she danced and sang as often as possible.
Darlene was notable for her groundbreaking business success at a time when few women were encouraged to pursue careers. Working outside the home on top of raising four children, Darlene was an accomplished medical office administrator, business owner, insurance salesperson, and realtor. She purchased and ran the locally renowned Big Dipper Ice Cream Shop in Manson in the 1960s. In the same period, and ahead of her time, she won the “Man of the Year” award for sales in 1967 from Pioneer Insurance Company. Her family remembers with humor and exasperation the trophy with her name on it displaying the figure of a man holding a briefcase. Though her work ethic and business sense guided her well throughout her life, she also enjoyed traveling, playing bridge, dancing to big band swing, singing in the church choir and a women’s barbershop quartet, and watching sunsets on Spirit Lake.
Darlene will be memorialized at an upcoming Egli Cousin gathering in Spring/Summer 2022 in Manson. In lieu of flowers, please direct memorial gifts to Pearson Lakes Art Center, 2201 Hwy 71, Okoboji, IA 51355 (www.lakesart.org), where Darlene enjoyed volunteering her time.
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