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Darla Fern Lee
April 12, 1967 ~ February 7, 2024 (age 56) 56 Years Old
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It is with great sadness and peace that we announce the death of Darla Fern Lee (nee: Brandham) on the 7th of February 2024 in Raymond, Alberta. She was met happily on the other side by her sweetheart and husband, Steve Lee, with whom she can now spend eternity, and her parents May and Verl Brandham. Darla will be missed by her children Beau (Tenille) and Brittnie (Jared), her siblings, Rod, Val, and Kevin; three grandsons; a gaggle of nieces and nephews, a wealth of friends, and her cat.
Darla was possessed of an adventurous spirit and she started early with her exploits. She began her Evel Knieval-type escapades at the early age of 3 when she and her best friend, Ritchie, mounted her trusty tricycle, with Darla at the handle bars and Ritchie clinging on for dear life from behind. Pedalling madly to get going she and Ritchie headed down the steep hill in front of her home. The sharp curve at the end of the block was her undoing. She missed the turn and flying arse over tea kettle landed in a tangle of limbs and wheels. No permanent damage but her need for speed was born.
Darla met and married the love of her life Steve, and they shared a love unlike anything in this world. Steve fueled her love of action and they were equally comfortable on the back of a horse, the back of a Harley, or behind the wheel of a stock car. The ride on the Harley over Logan’s Pass was a favourite for her and Steve. She spent hours with Steve either behind the wheel of a race car or pit crewing for him during his stock car driving days.
One of Darla’s greatest adventures was being a mom to Beau and Britt. Through dirt biking, horseback riding, and hours of summer fun boating with friends she taught them that if you didn’t get dirty you weren’t having fun. Darla was their cheerleader and encouraged them and supported them in their own enterprises. This included having a house full of Beau’s band mates which also included listening to the great and sometimes not so great music. She was an equal opportunity adventuress and made sure that Britt was supported in her own daring deeds, including dirt biking with the boys at Temple Hill. There was never a dull moment. Friends were always welcomed. Their home was filled with laughter and she created many amazing family memories.
Darla was kind, loving and a free spirit. Her celebration of birthdays was legendary. She didn’t believe a one day birthday celebration was enough to make a person feel as great as she thought they were. Her philosophy was that in order for a person to feel the magnitude of their real worth birthday celebrations needed to extend over an entire birthday month. She made everyone feel special and intensely loved.
This love and care led her to complete her Health Care Aide certification after Steve died. She always wanted to help and care for people, and she did just that for so many people. She worked in home care and in long-term care facilities where she was known for her kind and respectful gentleness and her ability to make the residents chuckle. She had a sharp wit and even made those she would roast laugh along with her.
Above everything, Darla was strong. She had a smile that would take your breath away and a heart that loved so pure. We will always cherish the love she had for her family.
Grief Told Me Its Name
I sat with my grief
And it told me its name
It said, “I am love,
just turned into pain”
“Please don’t fear me”
It went on to say
“We need to be friends
because I am here to stay”
I said, “If you are love
then why betray me?
Can’t you see that I am in agony”
Grief put its arm around me
And whispered really low,
“but child can’t you see that
their love did not go”
Grief then said, “They are still with you
although their body you can’t see
their love never left you.
Please believe me.”
- Sharyn Marsh, Leave Her Wild
A private celebration of Darla’s life will be held at a later date.