Darlene was born Jan. 20, 1941 in Aguilar, Colo. to Wanda Meltaberger Keller and Roy Keller. After the death of her father in 1952, Darlene moved with her family to Paramount Calif. where she graduated high school and met Phillip Ashton Gibbs. They later married and had two children.
While in California, she was employed at the Sportsman Dinner Club, which was one of her fondest memories to talk about. Darlene and family moved to Thompson Falls in 1964, to care for her mother and start a long career in dealing in antiques and making and selling jewelry that she continued throughout her life, even to her last days in Hospice.
In 1984, Darlene married Thompson Falls native John Marich at the church in Whitepine. Together they operated the antique store founded by her mother. She enjoyed traveling to swap meets, making jewelry, and hosting painting classes in her craft and antique stores both in Whitepine and the current Little Bear location. She and John moved to Lake Shasta, Calif. in 1994. After John’s death, Darlene move to Ventura, Calif. and later moved to Arkansas to be close to extended family as she aged, and when her health failed, she returned to Thompson Falls and the care of her granddaughter, Autumn.
She remained with Autumn and her grandchildren until she was forced, by her health, to move to a Hot Springs nursing home. While there, she continued to make jewelry and sell jewelry. She moved from Hot Springs to Cherry Hill in Thompson Falls, and then to The Village in Missoula.
She was interred in the Whitepine Cemetery May 10, 2016.
Darlene was preceded in death by her parents, Wanda and Roy; her husband John and her siblings Glenda Keller and Euga Felton Trent Jr. She is survived by her children Diedre Higgins of Las Vegas, Nev. and Christopher Gibbs and wife Michelle of Oak View, Calif.; her grandchildren Autumn Kostka, Dan Shaneybrook, Lauren Gibbs and Devin Gibbs and her three great-grandchildren Logan Kostka, Ashton Kostka, and Cinesse Shaneybrook.
Darlene’s sharp wit, red hair, quick comebacks and “Betty White attitude” will be sorely missed by all those who loved and appreciated her. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you make a donation to the Autism Research Institute at www.autism.com.