Darin Donlan

Darin Donlan



Darin Donlan, 46, of West Union, IA (formerly of Calmar), died on Friday, June 29, 2018 at Gundersen Health System in LaCrosse, WI.

Funeral services were held Thursday, July 5, at Calmar Lutheran Church in Calmar with Pastor Anita Nuetzman officiating.

Interment was in Orleans Lutheran Cemetery in Cresco. Casket bearers were all of Darin’s special friends at the Washington and Jefferson Houses in West Union. Honorary casket bearers were Paul Ehler, Brady Mikkelson, Ryan Monroe, Gary Novotny, and Ken Kubesh.

Arrangements were handled by Schluter-Balik Funeral Home, Decorah.

Darin Lew Donlan, the son of Dale and LaVonne (Midthus) Donlan, was born Nov. 30, 1971 at the Winneshiek County Hospital in Decorah, IA.  

Darin was 3 when he went to preschool. Marlys Lien was his teacher. Darin’s second school experience was preschool for handicapped children in Spillville, and he later attended the Abner Hendrickson School for the developmentally disabled in Decorah with Karen Gates as his teacher. Darin attended the junior high school in Decorah with Dennis Fisher and Paula Olejniczak as his teachers.  He was integrated into the high school with Helen Wesselman as his teacher.  Darin graduated from the Laura Baker School in Northfield, Minn., with a diploma from South Winneshiek High School. 

Darin then worked at different facilities throughout the years. The last eight years, Darin has been at the Jefferson House in West Union, IA. 

Darin was a very friendly, social person who loved people. If he met you once, he would hold out his hand and ask for your name, and when he met you again, he would remember your name using both your first and last names. He was a wizard at putting puzzles together.  His photogenic memory came in handy at home; if something was misplaced, we’d just ask Darin and he would go right to it. 

Darin’s favorite pastime was shredding paper by hand. When he went to visit local farmers, he’d spread it out in their calf pens for bedding.  

He collected John Deere toys and enjoyed getting rides on tractors.  

He participated in the Special Olympics and won many medals and ribbons.  Each summer, Darin would attend Camp Winnebago in Caledonia or Albrecht Acres in Sherrill, IA.  

He loved to bicycle, roller skate, bowl, snowmobile, motorcycle, horseback ride, picnic, visit zoos, hayrides, swim, camp, fish, go to the movies, stock car races, theme parks and go cruising in the convertible with his brothers. He went out to eat at restaurants with family and friends on a regular basis.  

Darin was fortunate enough to have many wonderful people from all walks of life who helped support and advocate for him throughout his life. Darin was well-loved and will never be forgotten.

Darin is survived by his mother, LaVonne Donlan of Mabel, Minn.; brothers Danny (Michelle) Donlan of Cresco, IA and Deon (Tracy) Donlan of Farmington, Minn.; nieces and nephews Samuel, Dashel, Finnegan, McKenzie and Kathleen Donlan; aunts and uncles Arlin Midthus of Cresco, IA, Larry (Deb) Midthus of Cresco, IA, Kay Donlan Strand of Decorah, IA, Jerry (Kay) Donlan of Calmar, IA, and Marjorie (Curt) Berge of Lexington, Ky. 

Darin was preceded in death by his father, Dale Donlan, on Oct. 23, 1988; and grandparents Parnell and Elizabeth Donlan and Arthur and Alice Midthus.



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