The middle of three children, Darleen Gayle Crooks, was born in Sauk Rapids, Minnesota to Augusta and Leslie Crooks. In the spring of 1928 the family moved to Red Lodge where her dad worked on a ranch near Red Lodge, and her mother supplemented the family income with her creative seamstress ability.
Darleen graduated from Carbon County High School in 1942 and then continued her education at Polytechnic Institute in Billings. She met and married the love of her life, Robert (Bob) T. Eaton October 20, 1943 in Couer d’Alene, Idaho. Her father in-law Ernest T. Eaton in the early 1900’s was co-founder of the Polytechnic Institute (now known as Rocky Mountain College) and was also Lt. Governor for Montana State in the late 1940’s.
Early in her marriage Darleen was a bride that had an extended separation as Bob was in the Navy for about four years during WWII, serving in the Pacific Theater. Prior to his deployment the first of their three children, Darla Jean was born in Farragut, Idaho. Darleen returned to Red Lodge to be close with family where rationing and family life faced stress during this emotional time. With Bob’s return and discharge from the Navy, Darleen became a wife that kept the household organized and supported Bob’s construction endeavors in Billings.
She also was active with Home Demonstration Club, volunteer work with the Cancer Society, and many hobbies that involved craft skills or playing cards.
Darleen is survived by her younger sister, Virginia Landers who lives in Great Falls, her three children and their spouses ( Darla Jean McArthur & husband Jim in Spokane, WA), (E. L. Thomas Eaton and wife Margot in Chelan, WA), and (Cynthia Dana and husband Greg in Absarokee, MT). Additional she survived by 4 grandchildren, one great granddaughter, three nieces and one nephew.
Preceding her in the journey to be in heaven are her parents, her loving husband, grandson Forest, and an older brother, Ronald.
Plans are to have a grave side service and interment at Sunset Memorial Garden in Billings this spring.