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BIG SANDY Rose "Alma" Darlington, 93, died Saturday, July 20, 2002, at a Big Sandy care facility of natural causes.

Funeral vigil is 7 p.m. Tuesday at St. Margaret Mary's Catholic Church in Big Sandy. Funeral Service is 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Catholic Church in Big Sandy with Fr. Pete Guthneck officiating. Burial is to follow at the Big Sandy Cemetery. A fellowship luncheon will follow the committal service at the church.

Alma was born Nov. 24, 1908, to Alfred S. and Stephanie (Genereau) Chartier in Campbell, Neb. In 1918 she, along with four

siblings and parents, moved to southeast of Big Sandy to farm. She attended St. Mary's in Great Falls and graduated from Big Sandy High School in May of 1918.

On Aug. 1, 1928, Alma married Harley Vernon. Darlington in Fort Benton and together they raised six children: William, Kenneth, Robert, Mary, Nora, and Gary. The family farmed and ranched southeast of Big Sandy, living in an old sod shack for 15 years through the depression, dust storms, and low farming prices. She was a woman who knew the value of a hard day's work.

"Gaga," as she was known to her family, leaves behind a legacy of strength, character, and love of family. Her zest for life and positive nature was an inspiration to all who knew her.

Alma was an active member of the Ladies' Auxiliary and the Hopp Homemakers. She enjoyed gardening, crocheting, dancing, and spending time with her family and friends. She and Harley traveled extensively in the 1960s and '70s, always returning to their home at Midway Ranch. They had been married 68 years when Harley passed away in 1996. Alma continued to live on the ranch until her own death.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Alfred S. and Stephanie (Genereau) Chartier; husband, Harley V. Darlington in 1996; sons, William "Bill" and Robert Darlington; grandson, Mark Marty; sisters, Jean Banta and Loretta Darko; brother, Earnest Chartier.

She is survived by her sons, Kenneth (Darleen) Darlington and Gary (Rose) Darlington, all of Big Sandy; daughters, Mary (Gary) Marty of Great Falls, Nora (Burl) Miner of Butte; sister, Aggie Torkelson of Great Falls; 18 grandchildren; 46 great-grandchildren; and four great-great-grandchildren.

Memorials in Alma's honor may be made to the Big Sandy Medical Center, P.O. Box 530, Big Sandy, MT 59520 or to a person's choice.

Services and arrangements are under the direction of the Holland and Bonine Funeral Home in Havre.


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