Darleen Fay Junker Cornett was born Dec. 9, 1939, to Ella Roessler Junker and Fred Junker in Cuero, Texas, where she lived through high school graduation.
During these years, Darleen stayed active in the Lutheran church, school and extra-curricular activities. She played the piano and the violin, twirled the baton, and was head cheerleader, student council president, FFA Sweetheart and valedictorian of her high school class. She married Arlen Charles Cornett, whose family was also from Cuero, and became a member of the Methodist Church. Their families became close friends.
Darleen was always involved with her children's activities; she was a Camp Fire Girl leader, Cub Scout den leader, cheerleading coach, and team mom for football and soccer. She played organ for her church and volunteered for church and community projects.
Arlen's military obligations and employment opportunities took them to many locations throughout the United States. Besides real estate and marketing and business development, Darleen's work at a nonprofit gave her the opportunity to travel in Eastern Europe as the Cold War was ending. She was in Berlin shortly after the fall of the wall and came home with a piece of it. In addition, a move to Evergreen, Colo. gave Darleen the chance to explore high-altitude gardening.
Darleen and Arlen's move to Rockport, Texas, ushered in a new era of semi-retirement. They built a house on the first hole of the Rockport Country Club. There, Darleen gardened, watched birds, took up Mahjong, became a member of P.E.O. and had more time for quilting. She was happy to be back in Texas near her old friends and her sister. In 2009, she moved to Billings to be near her daughter after being diagnosed with dementia.
Throughout her worldwide travels, moves and changes in her life, Darleen maintained close friends, who will always remember her bright blue eyes, big smile and kindness.
She died peacefully at Highgate Cottage in Billings on Dec. 31, 2011. Darleen is preceded in death by her parents and her husband. She is survived by her children, Sherri Cornett (Steve Kriner) of Billings, Kevin Cornett of Austin, Texas, and Cory Cornett (Kember Hansen) of Richardson, Texas; her grandchildren, Colin Kriner of New York City, Emma Kriner of Billings, and Logan Cornett-Hanson of Richardson, Texas; and her sister, Doris Lee Beicker (Leroy Beicker) of Seguin, Texas.
Darleen's family would like to thank the staffs at Highgate Senior Living and RiverStone Hopsice for their kindness and wonderful care. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Alzheimer's Association or RiverStone Health Foundation in Billings. A memorial service in Texas is pending.