Cover photo for Darlene Bessie (Playford)  Springer's Obituary
Darlene Bessie (Playford)  Springer Profile Photo

Darlene Bessie (Playford) Springer

August 12, 1926 — November 28, 2021


On the evening of November 28, 2021, Darlene Bessie Springer, 95, accepted God’s loving invitation to spend Christmas in heaven with Him.  Darlene was born in Lawton, Michigan, the third daughter of Carr and Maria (Jenson) Playford.  Her childhood is very reminiscent of the stories of “Little House on the Prairie” where Darlene and her siblings, Donna Jean, Elmira, Celeste, Wyett and Paul lived in their Maternal Grandparent’s barn for a while before moving into the big white house across the street from the railroad tracks.  The Playford children really would walk miles to and from school every day.  When Darlene was in High School, she contracted TB and was sent to live in a Sanatorium in the Oshtemo area until she could be cured.  Being away from her family was the most difficult time for her; however, it did make her a stronger and more determined person.  She cried when she was not allowed back in school when she was released, for fear that she could still expose others to TB.  It was years later when, as an adult, Darlene went back to high school and earned her diploma.  What a proud moment and huge accomplishment!
Darlene was working in the cafeteria at the YMCA in Kalamazoo, MI when a handsome soldier came in to eat.  It was almost “love at first sight” for Darlene and Army Private First Class Chester Springer.  They dated a little before Chester had to head back to war, but the two lovebirds wrote continuous letters back and forth and before long they knew they wanted to be together always.  On September 3rd, 1945, they married in the parsonage of the Lane Blvd. Evangelical Church and began their life together.  Darlene and Chester raised four sons (John, Frank, David and Dennis) and a daughter (Karen) together.  Because education was so important to her, Darlene made sure the kids did their homework as well as their chores.  And if there was time after that, she would have them keep busy doing jigsaw puzzles…a love she would continue through all her years.  Darlene also loved needlework of all kinds, knitting, sewing, embroidering, quilting and she was delighted to pass that love on to her only daughter.  But the biggest thing her children remember is their Mother’s great faith.  On Sunday’s…You Go To Church.  Her love of God got her through so many difficult times in her life.  Darlene grew up Baptist but joined Trinity Lutheran Church in Paw Paw where her husband, Chester, later became an Elder and where her children received the sacraments.
Darlene became the head of the household after Chester’s sudden death from diabetes in 1985.  She always earned her way working at jobs as a maid or in a Laundromat.  She also loved shopping at Good Will Stores where she would buy little dolls to bring home, fix up, then give to others in need.  Later in life, Darlene, who only had one well-loved doll as a child, would collect realistic looking dolls…and also stamps, coins, and jars of pennies.  “Always Save Your Pennies” was a favorite phrase of hers!  Having grown up during wartime, Darlene was also very proud of America and the fact that between her husband and children, her family served in four branches of the service…the army, navy, marines and air force.  She continued to donate to all veteran causes even when she had little left for herself.  “God, Family and Country” truly was her mantra.
Darlene is survived by two sons, Frank (Carylle) Springer of Portage, MI and Dennis Springer of Fountain, MI and a daughter, Karen Beazley of Bakersfield, CA,  one brother, Paul Playford of Sun City, AZ,  10 Grandchildren, 18 Great-Grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services for Darlene will be held at Adams Funeral Home, 502 W Michigan,  Paw Paw, on Monday, December 6, 2021.  The family will receive friends beginning at 10:00 am with a service immediately following at 11:00 am with Rev. Philip Phifer. Burial will take place at Maple Grove Cemetery, Mattawan.

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Monday, December 6, 2021

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Monday, December 6, 2021

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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