Columbus — Darlene Marie Cepel, 60, of Columbus died Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021 in Lincoln.

Visitation was held Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021 at St. Isidore Catholic Church in Columbus with a vigil service.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021 at the church in Columbus. The funeral will also be broadcast on the McKown Funeral Home Facebook page.

Memorials may be made to Sammy's Superheroes Foundation or Youth for Christ.

McKown Funeral Home in Columbus is in charge of the arrangements.

Darlene was born on Nov. 18, 1960, in O’Neill, to Robert and Eunice (Van Horn) McClellan. She grew up on a farm south of O’Neill with her family with whom she held a close bond that continued throughout her life.

Darlene graduated from O’Neill Public Schools and Northeast Community Technical College in Norfolk. 

She was working at Olson Brothers Mfg. in Atkinson, where she met her husband Tom and married him on March 21, 1987. They celebrated their 34th anniversary this year.  

After marriage, the couple lived in Red Oak, Iowa, and Darlene worked as a purchasing agent at First Data Resources in Omaha. They moved to Columbus in 1988 and began raising a family. She worked at West Park Elementary, Columbus Physical Therapy, State Farm Insurance and HOME Real Estate. 

She found her professional calling in life when she earned her real estate license and joined the team at KWElite Real Estate. She often shared with people that this was her dream job as she had the pleasure of making the process of buying or selling a home a wonderful experience for so many. In July she earned the Elite Performers Award as top producer in the office. 

Darlene will always be remembered for her generous and loving heart, quick wit and infectious laugh. Her coworkers called her their office mom (though she preferred “sister”). She put her heart into everything she did. She helped every person she came in contact with and always saw everyone’s full potential even if others did not. She was an inspiration to all who knew her.

Dar is survived by her husband Tom; three children Jay, Lindsay (fiancé Kenny Rosno) and Shayna Cepel, all of Columbus;  her two sisters Jolene (Joel) Lordemann of Minot, ND and Diane (Steve) Goldfuss of O’Neill; one brother Doug McClellan of Norfolk; and nieces, nephews and so many friends who she held dear. 

She was preceded in death by her parents Robert and Eunice McClellan, her father-in-law Harold Cepel and mother-in-law Joan Cepel.           

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