DeKALB – Audrey M. Dargatz, 87, of DeKalb, Ill., died Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012, at Oak Crest DeKalb Area Retirement Center in DeKalb.
Born Oct. 2, 1925, in Chicago, the daughter of Theodore and Emma (Gaul) Toerpe, she married Fred W. Dargatz on May 25, 1946. They made happy homes in Oak Park, Glen Ellyn, Peru, Streator and Naperville, before retiring to Mountain Home, Ark.
A few years after Fred's death in 1993, Audrey returned to Illinois in DeKalb County. One day short of eight years before her death, Audrey was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and moved to Oak Crest shortly thereafter.
With so many moves, Audrey's motto was "Bloom where you're planted," and so she was a tireless volunteer – wherever she was planted – working with disabled children and at nursing homes, libraries, hospitals and her local church. She enjoyed traveling, first on camping trips with the family and then anywhere with Fred, whether exploring new areas close to home during an afternoon drive or visiting family and friends from one corner of the country to the other. She loved plants and flowers as a gardener and as a spectator on the DeKalb area garden walks, and could be found at many musical productions and plays.
She is survived by three daughters, Susan Fix of Provo, Utah, Debra (A.A. "Bud") Burgin of DeKalb and Carol Dargatz of Olympia, Wash.; and three grandchildren, Amy Escher of Kirkland, Wash., Todd Abrams of Los Angeles and Keith Abrams of Napa, Calif.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Fred W. Dargatz; a daughter, Nancy (Martin) Abrams of Glenview; and a brother, Robert (Virginia) Toerpe of Jacksonville, Fla.
Cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, at the Oak Crest chapel.
The family wishes to thank the caregivers of Oak Crest and DeKalb County Hospice for their tender loving care of Audrey.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Evangelical Lutheran Church of St. John (Sycamore), Oak Crest Good Samaritan Fund or DeKalb County Hospice.
Arrangements are pending at Ronan-Moore-Finch Funeral Home, 310 Oak St., DeKalb, IL 60115. For information, call 815-758-3841.