Mary M. Darnell
December 9, 1936 - August 5, 2023

Mary M. Darnell

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Mary M. Darnell, 86, of Winslow
died August 5, 2023, in Fremont, Nebraska.

She was a daughter of Peter and Mary (Vlcan) Chvala and was born in Monowi, Nebraska on December 9, 1936. She graduated from Lynch High School in 1954. She received her teaching certificate and taught until the early 1960's in the Lynch and Monowi area. She married Donald 'Dude' Darnell on June 5, 1957, in Lynch, Nebraska. Five children were born to them: Esther, Dave, Guy, Marc, and Mary Ellen. They lived in Lynch until moving to the Hooper and Winslow area in the late 1960's. She was a member of St. Rose Catholic Church.

She quit teaching to raise her family. In 1980 she became postmaster of Winslow, Nebraska, retiring after nearly 3 decades. She was a wonderful gardener. There were always plenty of tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers, and her yard was filled with colorful flowers during the summer months. She liked watching Nascar races and baseball on TV. Puzzles were an enjoyable pastime. She was always eager to see her grandkids. She liked attending their sporting events, music programs, and any other activities they were involved with. She was happy to babysit, which she did quite often. She was great at throwing tea parties, playing bingo, and feeding them homemade goodies. She was an amazing Grandma.

She was kind, soft-spoken, and an all-around lovely person. She had a good sense of humor and was able to take a joke. She was a great person to laugh with. She had many friends who enjoyed visiting with her. Her weekly group, which met every Thursday, was something she always looked forward to.

She is survived by her five children, five grandchildren, and six great grandchildren. They include daughter Esther Daugherty (Gene), grandson Josh Daugherty (J.J.); son Dave Darnell; son Guy Darnell (Pattie), granddaughter Kari Buckingham (Ryan), great grandsons Tyson, Bryton, Wyatt, and great granddaughter Pyper; grandson Brady Darnell (Alex), great grandsons Carson and Tatum; son Marc Darnell; daughter Mary Ellen Darnell and granddaughters Mary Elizabeth (Minny) and Mary Grace (Gracy).

Mary was the eldest of seven children. She leaves all 6 siblings behind. They include brothers Jim (Kathy), Tom (Jan), Steve (Linda), Pete (Debbie), and sisters Tess Schwager, and Anna (Dick) Steinbach.

She was preceded in death by her parents, brother-in-law Nook Schwager, sister-in-law Mary Anne Chvala, brother-in-law Jack Darnell and his wife Mary Ann, and the family dog Sande, who enjoyed her pancakes. Her husband, Dude, passed away in 1996 and she'd missed him greatly ever since. After he passed, she'd said she was still married - he just wasn't with her. They enjoyed many things together in life. Watching him win trophies while racing car #54 with Pecenas was an early highlight of their marriage. She also enjoyed sitting on the back of his motorcycle traveling anywhere, attending polka dances, sitting on the patio having a beer, ''donating'' money to numerous casinos, and taking all 5 kids on a vacation every summer. It could be Worlds of Fun, The Black Hills, or camping. Together, they were wonderful parents, we were so fortunate to have them, and they will be missed.

Visitation, open to the public, will be Monday, August 14, 2023 at the Ludvigsen Mortuary Chapel in Fremont from 3pm to 8pm. A private funeral will be held with burial in the Logan Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to the family.

Ludvigsen Mortuary in Fremont in charge of arrangements.

Online guestbook at

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Monday, August 14, 2023
3:00pm to 8:00pm
Ludvigsen Mortuary - Fremont
1249 E. 23rd St.
Fremont, NE  68025
Map & Directions

Logan Cemetery
Hooper, NE  68031


  1. Mary Jo Wieseman
    I am so sorry for your loss! Your families are in my thoughts and prayers.
  2. Brian & Peg Maher
    So sorry for your loss! May God give you strength, understanding and guidance in the coming days. Sending prayers to you all.
    Brian & Peg Maher
  3. Curtis Pawl
    Mary was a great friend and a a fellow Postmaster, I enjoyed being at the Postmaster meetings with her and enjoying her sense of humor. My condolences to the family and my deepest sympathy. She will be missed, but she is now with her Dude again.
  4. Beth (Swim) Beerbohm
    I'm so sorry for your loss its not easy losing your mom , Mary was always very nice I know my mom enjoyed talking with her your never ready to lose your parent , she will be greatly missed
  5. Mary Grace
    I love you so so so much Grandma. You’re amazing, and I know you’ll always be with me. I’ll miss you forever. I love you. ❤️
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