All of us at Patchwork Central are deeply saddened by the unexpected death of Darlene Blagg, a volunteer extraordinaire and a member of the Patchwork Central Worship Community.
Darlene was present in many parts of life at Patchwork. She worked in the food pantry two days a week every week. She made cookies for First Fridays. She brought mini breakfast casseroles for our hospitality guests. She baked artful communion breads for Patchwork’s worship services. She peeled boxes and boxes of apples for our pancake breakfasts.
Her life was a testament to the many good things that happen at Patchwork every day. Her death leaves many, noticeable impacts within Patchwork’s programming.
Darlene Raye Blagg was born on June 19, 1941 in Evansville Indiana and lived in Vanderburgh County for all of her 80 years. She died on September 11, 2021. She enjoyed her childhood growing up on a farm in Union Township with her mother Martha Gentry Blagg Lovell and stepfather Hallet Lovell. She was a beautiful soul whose life was not easy, but she met each challenge and difficulty with determination and grit, and with a steadfast belief in God.
Darlene was a loving, faithful friend with a servant heart, as evidenced by the many ways she helped others. She was a lover of animals—over many years she had a number of dogs and when she was younger she owned two horses, a mule, and a donkey. Most recently she and her dog Kelly were fixtures around the Haynie’s Corner Arts District, a neighborhood that she loved and championed by connecting with and looking out for those who live there. She saw value in making her home there near downtown Evansville, even when others in the city did not see it as a good place to live.
Darlene had a number of jobs and for a time drove a semi-truck for a living. She also worked as an aide for elderly and disabled people, and in the 1980s until it closed, she was the Manager and Head Baker for the Back Alley Bakery on Kentucky Avenue, a ministry of Patchwork Central.
Many years later, after reconnecting with Patchwork, its people and its programs, she came back as a volunteer there and has been a treasured and invaluable member of the Patchwork Community ever since. Besides taking on many tasks including volunteering at the food pantry, helping with the yearly pancake breakfasts and back-to-school sales, she prepared delicious food for the neighborhood guests who come to Patchwork in the morning for coffee and hospitality. She loved to make special, homemade birthday cakes for her friends, and baked beautiful artisan communion breads for the Sunday evening worship services at Patchwork. More than anything else, Darlene was the truest and most generous friend a person could ever have and those who were lucky enough to be in her orbit were blessed beyond measure. Rest in peace, dear one.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, September 25 at 10:00 am on the front lawn at Patchwork Central, 100 Washington Avenue, Evansville. In case of rain, the service will be moved to Sunday, September 26 at 2:00 pm. Memorial contributions may be made to Patchwork Central.