Darlene Graham1948 - 2017
Darlene Marie Graham, RNBC (69) passed away
Thursday, September seventh at McLaren in Petoskey.
Darlene was born July 8, 1948 to Jack G, Graham and Marian (LeBlanc)
Bonsecours in Cheboygan. She was preceded in death by her father,
mother, Alfred (Bunk) Bonsecours and her sister Karen Gasper.
Darlene was a friendly, well-organized person, Her early job at Proctor &
Gamble, where she worked over twenty years, lead to her being elected
by her colleagues to Union Steward a few years before the mill closed.
When the mill closed, employees were given the choice of moving to
another plant or taking a severance package to use as they chose.
Darlene chose to stay in Cheboygan and pursue her degree in nursing
school at North Central Michigan College in Petoskey where she received
her Associate of Applied Sciences in Nursing, May 1994. After
graduation, she began working at Green Meadows nursing the elderly and
impaired residents. She gained experience and completed the required
correspondence courses to complete the American Nurses Association,
Commission on Certification exam, Successful completion granted her
Board Certification as a Gerontological Nurse in March of 2007.
Darlene continued to work in Cheboygan in various long-term care
settings until retiring to care for her Mother at home.
Darlene enjoyed going to the casino ~ especially when the slots were kind!
She enjoyed preparing dinners for family and friends around holidays –
but mostly she enjoyed their company. Darlene also enjoyed camping –
preferably in a camper! Possibly most, she enjoyed her residents and
their families spreading as much joy and making them comfortable in
“their” home. She encouraged them to speak up about any concerns
saying, “You are our boss” and that’s how she felt! Many of her
colleagues and students from over the years have reached out and shared
how she taught and mentored them; that they wouldn’t be the nurses and
caregivers they are today without her kind guidance and witty charm,
Always passing on her professional approach to all circumstances.
During her last hours at McLaren two of those folks came by her room as
they began their night shift at different times, Each identified herself
and when they worked with her; Darlene’s eyes would open wide,
recognizing them with a big smile while they expressed those thoughts
in person, It was obvious that it pleased her!
Darlene is survived by her sister Julie (Bruce) Hendrickson, brothers
Michael Graham and Charles (Pat) Graham, nieces and nephews: Kim,
Cindy, Anastasia, Shannon, Sean, Jodie, Matthew, Josh and Joe. She is
also remembered by cousins and many special friends — Lois, Carrie,
Fran, Peggy, Dave, Mary, Barb, Mary Jo, Sandy, Joe and Elaine — and
Cremation has taken place; no formal service planned at this time.
A gathering of family and friends will take place later. Please, no flowers
nor funds. In the spirit of Darlene, when you think of her now or in the
future, pass on a kind word or smile to another ~ or, if you prefer, a gift
to someone in need or your favorite charity.