Evans Funeral Home

"Compassionate Funeral Service"

Carrington and New Rockford, North Dakota
701.652.3003 or 701.947.2911

Secondary Number ~ 701.650.9937

Darlene Daugherty

Darlene Audrey Daugherty, 86, died peacefully on October 22, 2023, in New Rockford, ND surrounded by her four children.

Darlene was born December 13, 1936, to John and Bernice (Bjugstad) Kruger in rural Sheyenne, ND.  During her childhood years, the Kruger family farmhouse lacked electricity and indoor plumbing.  She attended elementary school at the Plainview School No. 3, a one-room country school.  The Kruger family moved into Sheyenne in 1947.  Darlene graduated from Sheyenne High School in 1954, where she was a cheerleader and class valedictorian.  One of her high school teachers, who taught in New Rockford and Sheyenne for more than a couple of decades, once remarked that Darlene was the best student she ever taught.  Darlene attended Mayville State College for one year, obtaining her teaching certificate, and then taught in the Superior Township country school south of New Rockford from 1955-1957. 

Darlene married James William (Bill) Schaefer on June 15, 1957.  Darlene and Bill had six children — Greg, Brad, Monty, Doug, Joan, and Sue — and farmed and raised cattle in Wells, Eddy, and Foster Counties for the next 14 years until Bill died from Hodgkin’s on their 14th anniversary.  Darlene married Tollef (Tolley) Skaar on November 3, 1973.  Darlene and Tolley continued their farming and cattle operation until Tolley’s death on April 19, 1982.  Darlene married Elder Daugherty on March 8, 1986.  Elder died on December 28, 2002.  Darlene was fortunate to have as her life partners three such gentle, kind, decent, and thoughtful men, even though the world took each of them from her too early and at too young ages.

Darlene was a remarkable, highly intelligent, determined, and resilient woman.  She was an indefatigable worker and partner of her three husbands in the running of their farm and home.  She was a loving and fiercely protective mother.  As a former teacher herself, Darlene cared deeply about education; she set high standards for her kids, pushing and encouraging them to work hard to achieve their potential in their varied educational paths.

Darlene was a gifted pianist and talented organist, inheriting her love of music and the piano from her mother.  She had perfect pitch.  All of her kids remember practicing piano while from another room came Mom’s voice — while she was doing 13 other things while still listening to ensure the kids kept on task — “f sharp,” or “b flat” (or whatever the corrective measure called for at the moment).  With her natural ability and many years of diligent practice, Darlene achieved technical mastery of the piano, working up Rachmaninoff’s transcription of Rimsky-Korsakov’s “The Flight of the Bumblebee” as a competition piece.  She was the organist at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Bremen, ND for 51 years from 1957 to 2008, and also played the organ for countless marriages and funerals.

Darlene was a master of all manner of domestic arts.  She was a terrific home cook, a consummate baker, a prolific canner, a master gardener, an expert seamstress, and enjoyed quilting and Hardanger.  Darlene and Bill, and later Darlene and Tolley, hosted countless Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas holiday get-togethers for the extended Schaefer, Kruger, and Skaar families.  Darlene’s quilts adorn the beds of her kids and grandkids and her Hardanger masterworks the walls of her home and those of her kids.  Darlene sewed bridesmaid dresses, many of her own clothes as well as clothes for her kids, not to mention patching countless pairs of jeans and shirts her kids and grandkids could not be persuaded to part with.  Just this past summer, Darlene acquired a new Pfaff “Smarter” sewing machine, although she would be quick to say that it’s not the “smart” machine that matters as much as the know-how and “smarts” of the person sewing.  For decades her family looked forward with great anticipation to the oyster stew, the lefse, and the “goo balls” awaiting them when they returned home to celebrate family Christmas holidays.  All of her kids’ college dormmates anxiously awaited mail deliveries arriving in boxes from New Rockford, relieved they could feast on Darlene’s fabulous monster cookies and other baked treats rather than having to subsist on the pedestrian meals at the college dorm cafeterias for as long as the cookies lasted (not long!).

Darlene and Bill enjoyed many winter nights playing whist with their farm neighbors and St. Joseph’s Church circle members.  Darlene and Tolley, and later Darlene and Elder, enjoyed playing whist and pinochle with friends.  Darlene developed a life-long love of Scrabble from her mother, which she played throughout her life, including weekly games in recent years.  Over the decades, many a holiday night ended with the family around the kitchen or dining room table playing “May I” into the wee hours.  Darlene was a devoted fan of the NR-S Rocket football and basketball teams when grandsons Andrew, Jack, and Benjamin Schaefer were playing in the past decade and a half.  She enjoyed traveling with Bill and Tolley, and occasionally with her siblings and her kids, in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

Darlene was a dear sister to her five siblings, a cherished sister-in-law to Bill’s, Tolley’s, and Elder’s siblings, a fondly regarded aunt to dozens of her nieces and nephews, and a devoted friend to the members of her sewing club, Red Hats club, and birthday clubs as well as to friends from high school and college, her church, and local communities.  Her close friends, her sisters, and many of her in-laws valued her as a trusted confidant always available to listen and provide wise counsel.

Darlene was a pillar of St. Joseph’s and St. John’s Catholic churches in Bremen and New Rockford for six and a half decades.  Darlene’s faith was an anchor in her life, and her trip to Rome, to visit the Vatican, was one of her meaningful life trips.

Darlene is survived by sons Greg (Teresa Erickson) Schaefer, Minneapolis, MN, Brad (Leslie) Schaefer, Grand Junction, CO, Monty (Tori) Schaefer, New Rockford, and daughter Susan (Tim) Hanson, Fargo, ND; grandsons Rob Cartlidge, Grand Junction, Jesse (Melissa) Erickson and Joel (Lauren) Erickson, all of Minneapolis, Andrew (Kara) Schaefer and Benjamin Schaefer, all of New Rockford, and Jack Schaefer (Madison, WI); granddaughter Alexis (Will) Douglas, Aberdeen, SD; great grandsons Rex and Owen Erickson, both of Minneapolis; great granddaughters Everly Erickson, Minneapolis, and Avy and Esly Schaefer, both of New Rockford; sisters Marian Lewis and Shirley Westby, both of New Rockford, Maxine Olson, Crystal, MN, and brother Stanley (Marilyn) Kruger, Sheyenne; sisters-in-law LeNore (Del) Rood, Sturgis, MI, Inez Pendergrast, Westminster, CO, and Rhoda Stenberg, Sheyenne, and brothers-in-law Jerry Ronningen, Cooperstown, ND, and Carl Daugherty, Sheyenne; and dozens of nieces and nephews.

Darlene was preceded in death by her parents; her three husbands; her daughter Joan Schaefer; her son Doug Schaefer; her sister Fern Georgeson; and 16 brothers-in-law, 13 sisters-in-law as well as many nieces and nephews.

Darlene’s family extends their appreciation to the nursing and hospice staff at the Lutheran Home of the Good Shepherd in New Rockford, where she spent her last few weeks, for their kind care, compassion, and gentle treatment as well as to the staffs at Fargo St. Luke’s/MeritCare/Sanford, Carrington CHI St. Alexius Hospital, and Bismarck CHI St. Alexius Hospital for her excellent medical care and treatment over the past 25 years.

Arrangements by Evans Funeral Home, New Rockford, ND.  Mass of Christian Burial will be held October 26, 2023, at 10:30 a.m. at St. John’s Catholic Church, New Rockford.  Internment at St. John’s Catholic Cemetery, New Rockford. 

Donations/memorials preferred to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Shriner’s Hospital, or St. John’s Catholic Church.


Darlene’s Visitation will be Wednesday, October 25, 2023, from 3:00-7:00 PM with a Rosary Service at 6:45 PM followed by a Vigil Service at 7:00 PM all at Evans Funeral Home, New Rockford.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Thursday, October 26, 2023, at 10:30 AM at St. John’s Catholic Church, New Rockford.

Her Burial will be at the St. John’s Catholic Cemetery, New Rockford.

Posted Condolences:


  1. Greg, Brad, Monty and Sue and Family. You all know how our family feels about u all. We have always been blessed to be part of your family, many memories ❤️ Mom and dad are finally together, what a special couple they were and of course Tolly and Elder. Our Hearts hurt for you all. Love u Leonard and Lois, Justin and Laurie, Tom and Kathy and Keith and Suzy and families.

  2. My thoughts and prayers are with you all at this difficult time. Losing a parent and especially a Mother is so very difficult. Eternal rest grant onto her, oh Lord and let the perpetual light shine upon her.

  3. Darlene was a wonderful lady and I remember her well when she taught at Superior Township and my mother and father just loved her…. Rest in Peace Darlene god is with you ….

  4. Our deepest sympathy to the Schaefer family. Darlene will be greatly missed.

  5. Darlene was a gem! I loved our visits and appreciated her kindness. May she soar with the angels. ((Hugs)) to you.

  6. Darlene was an amazing woman. My condolences to the entire family. I loved the sleepovers out at the farm. I can attest to her cooking skills and intellect. I swear she could hear every word we said in the basement from the kitchen upstairs. I had never argued politics at the kitchen table before staying over. I am so sorry for your(our) loss.

  7. Many wonderful weekends were spent visiting/staying at the farm in the 60’s. The first brownies I ever made was a recipe from Darlene. The family gatherings at the farm were always fun. I ran into her at a TOPS convention in the late 70’s. And we always tried to stop to see her when doing memorials and visits to NR. Her handiwork is magnificent. We send our love and prayers to her family.

  8. What a beautiful and well-written obituary documenting the life of a remarkable woman! She was a very special person! Blessings to all family members.

  9. So many memories of your mom! Was always a treat to run into her when I would visit New Rockford. Would get a quick catch-up on the kids. she was so very proud of all of you!! Sad and hard to lose Mom, but so many wonderful memories to hold in your heart!

  10. I am so sorry for your loss. Your mom was my first grade teacher at Superior #1 south of New Rockford and although, I’m now in my seventies, she made a lasting impression on me. May God comfort you in your loss.

  11. So sorry for your loss. Darlene was a classy lady that I enjoyed visiting with when I saw her over the years. Prayers for her family.

  12. My sympathy to Greg, Brad, Monte and Sue. I was in birthday club with your mom and Tolley, Darlene ,Ken and I took a fun trip to Vegas one year. We went to look at a golf resort and Darlene knew how to ask questions! We left with a dice clock, which Tolley forgot at the MGM Grand. So many laughs. I always enjoyed the many delicious dinners we shared. She was an excellent cook. Hold on to your memories of this special lady.

  13. So sorry for the loss of our Dear Aunt Darlene. Such a talented, generous, kind soul who endured more than her share of losses over the years. May she now rest in eternal peace.

  14. Such fond memories of Darlene, my 1st grade teacher. A beautiful, kind lady. We all so enjoyed the time she lived with us. She was always so welcoming when I’d run into her. Wishing you peace Darlene. You’ll have so many welcoming you home.

  15. Darlene was a wonderful lady. Would love it when she would stop by the farm. She will be greatly missed!

  16. Sending condolences to all of you and your families. You all were the closest group of cousins I got to grow up with; close friends and confidants… I am saddened for your loss. I know that your mom is rejoicing with her family in Gods house and is another angel watching over all of you. Prayers for peace and comfort.

  17. Thinking of all of you. Darlene was such a caring wonderful person. With Halloween next week brought back memories of caramel apples and popcorn ball that she would hand out. She always had a smile and made you feel special. I can imagine the homecoming when she reached the heavens gate. Rest in peace Darlene.

  18. One terrific lady !!!!!!

  19. Peace to you Monty and your entire family. Britta and I always enjoyed visits with Darlene on our trips to the farm, she always made us feel at home. We still enjoy a number of recipes from her collection that she shared. It was comforting to me that my son and his family got to know Darlene as they established their home in Jamestown.

    Rest in peace Darlene knowing all goodwill you brought too so many people.

  20. My condolences to your family on behalf of the Danielson family. I suspect my mother Thordis was the one who said Darlene was her best student, and she and my Dad Vern both spoke so fondly of Darlene. She was a wonderful and dedicated person with commitment to her family, friends and important people and causes. She lived a purposeful life. We are blessed she lived among us.

  21. Darlene was a kind and gentle soul and we all have wonderful memories of her goodness. My uncle Tolley was lucky to have Darlene in his life. Our prayers to family during your time of loss.

  22. My deepest sympathies to you all. Your mom was one of a kind. What a treasure for you. I have wonderful memories of her being such a strong beautiful woman.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Condolences are reviewed by staff.


Home | About Us | Our Services | Obituaries | Directories | Resources |

© 2018 Evans Funeral Home, All Rights Reserved.