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With beautiful memories locked inside our hearts, our family announces the peaceful passing of Darlene L. Irwin of Gilby, Alberta.  Darlene passed away at the Rimbey Hospital and Care Centre on Friday, April 19, 2024, at the age of 79 years. 


Darlene was born in Rimbey, Alberta on November 8, 1944, to John and Ruth Balan.  Their family farmed in the Willesden Green area northwest of Rimbey.  Darlene was the second child of seven children.  She attended a local country school, and then lived in Rimbey with various families while completing her high school education.  Darlene met her future husband, Albert Irwin, at a local wedding dance when she was fifteen years old.  They were married on August 31, 1963, and together made their home and raised their family on the farm that Albert was raised on in the Gilby District.  Darlene worked alongside her husband in every aspect of farming; anything from spring seeding, haying, combining, hauling grain, and fencing.  She helped build sheds and worked on machinery with Albert.  When not busy in the field, there were cows to milk morning and night, pigs to feed, and chickens to raise and butcher.  On top of all that, Darlene always planted a big garden.  She froze vegetables, canned fruit, and made wonderful jams, relishes, and pickles.  Darlene was also a fantastic cook, and could make a meal out of anything.  There was always room at the table if someone showed up.  Cake and coffee were always ready just in case company came for a visit.  Darlene loved her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren with all her heart.  She would bake a special cake or treat for the person celebrating their birthday, and always knew their favourite!  Darlene also possessed a love of flowers and enjoyed planting and tending to them; and had beautiful flower beds to show for all her hard work.  She took great pride in keeping her yard looking neat and tidy.


Darlene will be lovingly remembered and sadly missed by her daughters Brenda (Jesse) Dial of Rimbey, Jeanette (Kelly) Towle of Rimbey, and Angela (Darren) Lagace of Rocky Mountain House.  She also leaves behind her cherished grandchildren Dustin (Megan) Dial, Casey (Dustin) Lethbridge, Bailey (Paul) Thijssen, Taylor Towle (Everett Bouchard), Spencer Lagace, and Carter Lagace; four precious great-grandchildren Moxon and Brynn Lethbridge, and Mason and Kysen Dial; as well as many nieces, nephews, other family members, and several close friends.  Darlene was predeceased by her husband Albert in 2020.


Darlene’s family will host a Celebration of her Life at the Leedale Community Centre on Saturday, June 1, 2024, at 1:00 p.m.  Interment will take place in the Gilby Cemetery at a later date.  If desired, memorial donations in Darlene’s memory may be made directly to the Rimbey Hospital and Care Centre, c/o the Rimbey Hospital Legacy Committee, Box 440, Rimbey, Alberta  T0C 2J0 (  Thoughts and messages to the family may be shared through the condolence area located at the bottom of this page.


Cremation Arrangements for the Late Darlene L. Irwin entrusted to the care of


Connie Madsen
Connie Madsen

My sincere sympathy to all the family. Darlene was our hard working neighbor whose door was always open for a visit. Who ever entered was met with a smile and made to feel welcome. She shared a birthday with our Dad and they both looked forward to sharing cake and coffee on that day.

Connie Madsen(Wingate)

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