Ona Darlene Lingner

September 9, 1942 ~ October 9, 2019 (age 77)


Ona Darlene Lingner passed away on October 9, 2019, at home in Carmichael, CA with family, after a two-year battle with ovarian cancer. 


Ona, who preferred to go by her middle name, “Darlene,” was also a 35-year breast cancer survivor, but she never let illness defeat her loving, humorous, and inquisitive spirit. Darlene always had a smile and cheery outlook for everyone. Her husband, David, affectionately referred to her as “Barbara Walters,” because usually, when asked how she was doing, she would deflect the question and take the opportunity to learn more about that person instead.


Darlene was born on September 9, 1942, in Prineville, Oregon, to Robert Cleveland Osborn and Alice Eleanor Osborn. Raised in Prineville as a child, she was captivated by the area’s natural beauty; in particular, the brilliant colors of the Painted Hills, which would influence her artistic sensibilities later in life. Her family moved to Cloverdale, California, in 1954 where her father helped build the famous Kelly Road that provided logging access to the coast. 


Darlene met her husband, David, in high school, but it wasn’t until much later, after Darlene had moved to San Francisco, that David mustered up the courage to ask her out. His courage paid off and they were married soon after. They spent the next 56 years teaching each other to love, laugh, and to be thankful.


You could see aspects of Darlene’s compassion and inquisitiveness in her professional life as well. After a brief stint in Killeen, Texas, while David served in the Army, the two moved back to Cloverdale, where Darlene earned her beautician's license at her mother’s urging. She enjoyed interacting with customers, often engaging in her trademark questioning – and sometimes extreme honesty – during appointments, but ultimately, styling hair was not for her. She became a bank teller for a short period, and then was recruited by PG&E as a customer service representative, where she stayed for 25 years and met her dearest lifelong friend. She loved her job and enjoying the variety of interactions she had with people – in person and over the phone.


Darlene retired in 1994 when PG&E closed the local office, preferring to stay in Cloverdale rather than move to San Francisco or Sacramento. To stay busy and connected with the community, she took a variety of odd jobs that included working for a travel agent, as an office clerk for Retech, as an intake clerk for The Salvation Army, and even as a tour bus driver for Del Webb, Cloverdale. 


Creativity was a huge part of her life. She expressed her love of design and bright colors through knitting, crocheting, decorative arts painting, Rosemaling, and Tole painting. She had a great group of other creative friends in Cloverdale who quilted, painted, knitted, beaded and even made bears. Darlene was also a voracious reader and, later in life, enjoyed listening to audio books. 


Darlene’s maternal Grandmother told her on her wedding day to never go to bed angry; words she lived by and hopefully passed on to her children and her children’s children.


Darlene was a unique and loving spirit. She lived in Cloverdale, CA most of her life, until moving in 2015 to Carmichael, CA to be closer to her daughter. She is survived by David Earl Lingner, her husband of 56 years; her 2 children, whom she referred to as “her favorite son or favorite daughter” even though there was only one of each; son Douglas Lingner, who lives in Corona, CA, with wife Janine, daughter Olivia Paige, and son Seth Alexander; and by daughter Kristy Lingner, who lives in Sacramento, CA, with her partner, Myles Rollings. Darlene took extreme pride in her children and grandchildren, and would tell friends, coworkers, and neighbors they were her life’s greatest achievements.


In lieu of cards, donations or flowers, Darlene wishes for people to do something nice for themselves in her honor. She will be missed.

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