Darlene M. Baedke, 86, of Fort Dodge, passed away on Friday, January 3, 2014 at the Simpson Health Center at Friendship Haven. Services will be 11:00 AM Tuesday, January 7, 2014 at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Fort Dodge. Visitation will be from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM Monday at the Gunderson Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Fort Dodge.

Darlene Mae Derscheid, daughter of Harold and Hazel (Boughton) Derscheid, was born September 22, 1927 at Vincent, Iowa. She graduated from Eagle Grove High School and completed her nurses training at Mercy College of Nursing in Sioux City, Iowa.

On November 5, 1948, Darlene was united in marriage to Donald Parker Baedke at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Fort Dodge. They resided in Pomeroy, Lake Mills and Fonda before moving to Fort Dodge in 1961, where she has since lived. Darlene was a registered nurse working for Mercy Hospital and Trinity Regional Hospital. She worked as a nurse for 42 years before retiring in 1990. After her retirement from the hospital, Darlene continued to share her knowledge as a nursing instructor at Iowa Central Community College for a short time.

In addition to being a nurse, Darlene and her husband Don owned the Community Orchard in Fort Dodge. It was Darlene’s idea to open the bakery at the orchard and that dream turned into a successful part of the business! Darlene loved to bake and enter cookies, pies and cakes at the Iowa State Fair and earned many awards doing so. Don and Darlene also owned and operated The Dariette in Fort Dodge for several years.

Darlene is survived by her sons, Steven (Sue) Baedke, James (Lynda) Baedke, Greg (Bev) Baedke, Roger (Tenna) Baedke, daughters Mary Collmann, Phyllis (Kyle) VerSteeg, and Barb (Joe) O’Brion, 19 grandchildren, 36 great-grandchildren; her brother Martin (Mary) Jacobson, and brother-in-law and sister-in-law Charles and Marilyn Baedke.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Donald, daughter Julie, son-in-law Bruce Collmann and sister Lucille Mickelson.

Darlene was a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Stephen Ministries, Cooking Cherub’s and was involved in many church circles. Darlene devoted her life to her faith, family, and friends. Her grandchildren and great grandchildren were the apples of her eye and she earned the distinct honor of being called “Grandma Apple”.

Memorials may be directed to St. Paul Lutheran Church, Trinity Hospice, or Friendship Haven Good Samaritan Fund.