We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Escanaba Location
Darlene Dorothy Norman Prokos, age 84, of Escanaba (currently residing in Wisconsin Rapids, WI), passed away Sunday, June 5, 2022 at U.P. Health System – Marquette. She was born on April 19, 1938 in Escanaba, the daughter of Ralph and Dorothy (Brandt) Norman. Darlene was raised and attended school in Escanaba where she was a graduate of Escanaba High School in 1956. Following graduation, she went on to attend Northern Michigan University to receive her Bachelor’s in Arts degree. The former Darlene Norman married John George Prokos on February 2, 1957 in Escanaba and together they shared 62 years of marriage. Darlene and John relocated to Mackinaw City, MI to begin their teaching careers before moving to teach in Vulcan, MI. She then was awarded a fellowship through NMU to attend the University of Michigan to further her education in Social Work. In 1969, Darlene and John welcomed their twins, Ginger and John. While their children were young, she was a loving homemaker and also taught art classes to senior citizens in the evenings. In the 1980s, Darlene began substitute teaching with the local school districts and later became a teacher’s aide until her retirement in the late 1990s. Darlene had an artistic gift and often focused on acrylic and watercolor mediums, while also dabbling in pottery. Always eager to expand her knowledge, she took almost every art class available at Bay College. Her children recall her encouragement to be creative, allowing them to make a mess, explore, experiment, and embrace the creative process-something they will cherish forever and recognize for free-spirited and wonderful parenting. Darlene was a founding member of the East Ludington Gallery in Escanaba. Her love of animals motivated her to become a longtime supporter and benefactor of the Delta Animal Shelter. In 1994, Darlene fulfilled her lifelong dream of traveling to Paris along with her daughter, Ginger, and friend, Ruth Spade. She was blessed with a close network of family and friends, including Sally Swee, Joan Rust, and her sister, Judy Christiansen. Darlene greatly enjoyed visiting the cabin on the Stonington Peninsula, attending drawing class at Bay College, reading a mystery, and taking a good nap! She will be deeply missed by her children, granddaughter, sister, and many friends.
Darlene is survived by daughter, Ginger (Richard) Marten of Wisconsin Rapids, WI; son, Hon. John Prokos (Melinda Baas) of Rock Springs, WY; granddaughter, Rachel Marten of Wisconsin Rapids, WI; sister, Judy Christiansen of Escanaba; nephew, Edward Christiansen of Green Bay, WI; brothers-in-law, Charles (Rene) Prokos of Livonia, MI, and James (Tula) Prokos of Ann Arbor, MI; and many nieces and nephews.
Darlene was preceded in death by her parents, Ralph and Dorothy Norman; and her husband, John Prokos on July 7, 2019.
A memorial exhibit and luncheon are being planned for July, 2022. Complete arrangements will be forthcoming. Burial will take place in Lakewood Cemetery in Stonington, MI. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Delta Animal Shelter, or The Bonifas Fine Arts Center.