Darlene Della Sladen (Kappen)

October 19th, 1938 - November 29th, 2019

Darlene Della Sladen, age 81, of Laguna Woods, California, passed away peacefully on Friday, November 29, 2019 in Mission Viejo, California. She was born October 19, 1938 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Frank and Della Kappen. She married the love of her life, Gordon Sladen, in June of 1981, who survives her.
Darlene was a sweet and kind person who inherited her values from her mother and from living on a farm in rural Wisconsin. When hard times hit due to the depression her parents moved Darlene, her sister Shirley (Pochurek) and brother Virgil (Kappen) to the family farm in Hales Corners, Wisconsin. The farm overlooked Big Muskego Lake and Darlene as a child loved to play in the apple orchard, go on boat rides in the summer, and ice fish in the winter with her father. Living on the farm inspired her love of gardening and adoration of animals. She especially cherished her beautiful collie “Laddie” and the many cats who lived and worked on the farm.
Dreams of warm weather brought the family to sunny southern California. Here Darlene pursued her life-long dream of becoming a nurse. She went back to school to earn an Associate degree as a medical assistant. For many years Darlene worked for a group of internists in the Orange County area until her retirement at age 65. After retirement, she worked part-time as a gate ambassador for the community of Laguna Woods.
She was known for her warm, sweet and caring nature and loved to dote on people. She loved to make jewelry, sew, knit, and crochet and often gave away her crafted treasures to family and friends. Most people know Darlene for her love of cooking. She was a gourmet cook and enjoyed collecting recipes so much that her family often commented that she rarely made the same thing twice. Family birthdays were special as Darlene loved to cook a favorite dinner and bake a cake from scratch to celebrate. At Christmas, people knew that were special to her when she would deliver a loaf of her coveted German Christmas bread, Dresden Stollen.
Darlene was dedicated to her Lutheran faith and loved volunteering her time for the Lord. Her life was a living example of her favorite Bible verse, Ephesians 4:32 – “And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.”
Darlene is survived by her husband Gordon Sladen; her three daughters and their spouses Denise and Steve Rogers, Laureen Bellows, and Carole and Mark Gibbons; grandchildren Justin Bullerdick and Christopher Rogers. She was preceded in death by step-son Kirk Sladen.
Please join us in celebrating her life Tuesday morning January 14, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. at Lutheran Church of the Cross, 24231 El Toro Road, Laguna Woods, California. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society 1-800-227-2345 or P.O. Box 22478, Oklahoma City, OK 73123.

  • Service Date: Tuesday January 14th, 2020 10:00 am
    Service: Lutheran Church of the Cross 24231 El Toro Road Laguna Woods, California.