Darlene Lavia Obituary

Darlene J. Lavia
Darlene J. Lavia

July 29, 1931 - January 19, 2022
Born in Wisner, Nebraska
Resided in Windsor Heights, Iowa
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A kind, gentle and beautiful soul, Darlene J. Lavia, 90, left us to return to her heavenly home, surrounded by her family, on Wednesday, January 19, 2022. Visitation will be 5-7pm, Monday, January 24, 2022, at Iles Westover Chapel. A vigil service will follow beginning at 7pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:30am, Tuesday, January 25 at St. Theresa Catholic Church. Interment will be at Glendale Cemetery.

Darlene was born on July 29, 1931, in Wisner, Nebraska to parents, William and Helga Dennis. She graduated from Wisner High School, then moved to Omaha, Nebraska where she worked at Mutual of Omaha. On August 6, 1955, she married Dr. Jim Lavia. They made their home in Des Moines, where they raised their seven children. She was a longtime member of St. Theresa Catholic Church. She was an avid reader and enjoyed doing crosswords, cross stitch, crafts and collecting dolls. She enjoyed the sweet things in life and never met a potato or cookie she didn’t love.

Darlene is survived by her children, Terri (Greg) Brown, Annette Lavia (Al Ryerson), Randy Lavia, Julie Tosel, Mary (Joe) Van De Hey, Jimmy Lavia and Jeanine (Bob) Gilpatrick; grandchildren: Heidi Brown (Joe Hewitson), Emily Brown, Addie (Tyler) Sparks, Erin (Matt) Haugen, Lucas (Breanna) Tosel, Logan (Shawnda) Tosel, Jordin Van De Hey, Brady (Aubrey) Van De Hey, Chad Van De Hey, Tanner Van De Hey, Jesse Lavia and Casey Lavia; great grandchildren: Ivan, Owen, Teddy, Franklin, Arthur, Peyton, Beau, Leo, Presley, Larkin and Macy; and her sister, Sharon Schmidt as well as several nieces, nephews and their families. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Dr. Jim Lavia; two brothers, Bill and Warren Dennis.

Memorial contributions may be directed to: St. Jude Children’s Hospital, St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain, South Dakota or Wounded Warrior Project.

The service will be live streamed for those unable to attend. A link will appear, just prior to the service, on Darlene’s obituary page at www.IlesCares.com where you may also leave online condolences.

Arrangements by Iles Westover Chapel.





Iles Westover Chapel
6337 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA US 50322
Monday, January 24, 2022
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Vigil Service
Iles Westover Chapel
6337 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA US 50322
Monday, January 24, 2022
7:00 PM
St. Theresa Catholic Church
1230 Merle Hay Road
Des Moines, IA 50311
Tuesday, January 25, 2022
11:30 AM
Glendale Cemetery
4909 University Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50311
Tuesday, January 25, 2022


St. Jude Childen's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place
Memphis, TN 38105
St. Joseph's Indian School, South Dakota
P.O. Box 100
Chamberlain, SD 57626
Wounded Warrior Project
4899 Belfort Road, Suite 300
Jacksonville, FL 32256