Darline Frances (Komidor) Alderson died peacefully in her sleep on Easter Sunday, April 9, 2023, after a brief illness.
Mass will be celebrated 11 AM Tuesday April 18 at St. John Vianney Catholic Church, Fr. Thomas Firestone celebrant. Private interment later at Great Lakes National Cemetery, Holly. Visitation will be held 3-8 PM Monday and the Rosary will be prayed at 7 PM on Monday April 17 at Sharp Funeral Home and Cremation Center, 6063 Fenton Rd., Grand Blanc; and visitation 10 AM until mass at 11 AM on Tuesday April 18 at the church.
Darline was born on October 7, 1936, in Chisholm, Minnesota to Frances Drobnick and Edward Komidor, at home, assisted by mid-wife Frances Bremer.
She was educated in the Chisholm schools on the Iron Range. Darline excelled in music with her beautiful voice, mastery of the violin and was also a majorette with the Chisholm High School Marching band. Darline’s musical gifts earned her a full scholarship to Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she toured the country with the Duquesne University Tamburitzans. These were some of her favorite years.
After earning her bachelor’s degree in Music Education, Darline moved to Flint, Michigan to teach in the Flint Schools and to also join the Flint Symphony Orchestra. It was at Whitter Junior High that she met Dale Alderson who taught Physical Education. The music teacher and the gym teacher were married in 1959.
Darline’s vast teaching career spanned from the late 1950’s to 1999. She taught in the Flint, Atherton, and Beecher School Districts. She spent the majority of her career teaching in the Grand Blanc Schools. While teaching Elementary music, mom had a joyful life. Through her love of music, her students brought her so much delight. This truly was mom’s calling. Darline’s favorite years of teaching music were at Brendel Elementary in the 1970’s with Tom Shpakow as her Principal. There she had great fun with Una Burget and Jan Cornelison as they produced many children’s productions of The Wizard of Oz, Cinderella, Snow White and others - her favorite being A Christmas Carol (Scrooge). During those years, the mantra of these three teachers was - “Everything is easy as ABC” (Alderson, Burget, Cornelison). Physical Education teacher, Hugh Terrell was always willing to be part of the productions as well. He happily shared the gymnasium which housed the only stage. Hugh and Darline also embraced teaching their Brendel Elementary students how to square dance. What a time it was!
After retirement from the Grand Blanc Schools, Darline became an active member of the Saint John Vianney choir. She was also a frequent cantor. Even in her early 80’s she was chosen to cantor at multiple Christmas and Easter Masses. At that stage in her life, she joined the Flint Symphony Chorus and was once again reunited with her beloved Flint Institute of Music. Any opportunity mom had to share her musical gifts within the Flint Community was embraced. How she loved to be a part of the Annual Tree Lighting at Kettering University, playing Christmas Carols while students, faculty and staff joined along. This always marked the coming of the busy Christmas season including Holiday Pops at FIM Whiting Auditorium. Darline loved Christmas with the community so very much.
Darline spent the last year of her life at Genesee Gardens Senior Independent Living. Soon after moving into her new residence, she received a knock on her door by her next-door neighbor, Randy Tomalia. He offered her a piece of pizza and they were inseparable from that day on. The relationship between the two of them was beyond anyone’s comprehension. They were best friends who shared their Catholic faith, love of Hallmark movies, snacks, love of music and their Eastern European heritage. Darline’s family is so grateful for Randy’s presence during this time of mom’s life.
In the Fall of 2022, another new gift of friendship was on the horizon. Darline, no longer driving, gratefully accepted the transportation services of Dr. Jeff Straley. Jeff often told her “you are my responsibility”. Even when she could no longer attend rehearsals, masses and performances, Jeff was a good friend who visited her in the hospital and while in hospice care.
A special thank you to Teresa Pray Family Hospice and Darline’s nurse, Cougar; and her physician and dear friend, Dr. Kristina Nikolakeas. As Fanny Flagg wrote, “There are magnificent beings on this earth, son, that are walking around posing as humans.” Teresa Pray is one of these magnificent beings (angels).
Darline was preceded in death by her husband, H. Dale Alderson, her parents, Edward F. and Frances Komidor, Grandfather Louis Drobnick, Auntie Anne and Uncle Fritz Mehle, brother Jess Komidor, sister-in-law, Patricia Komidor, Cousin Franklin Mehle, and friend of many years, Dr. Mary Anne Vesella.
Darline leaves behind her children: Diane Alderson, Daphne Alderson (John Marcinizyn), Darla Haynes (Thomas) and grandchildren, Daniel Klinck (Brooklyn), Jacob Klinck (Allison), sister-in-law Edith Komidor, cousin Teresa Smith (Mehle) and many beloved nieces and nephews. Darline also leaves behind dear friend of many years, Polin Nikolakeas, Jan Cornelison, Bert Ellis, Bob Benish, and many friends from the community. She was loved and protected by Henry David Dog and he is still looking for his Gram.
As Darline passed away on Easter Sunday, her family who went before her surely said, “Dobrodosli domov” (welcome home). Then they danced the polka.
Diane Alderson, Daphne Alderson, and Darla Haynes
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to FIM to provide tuition assistance for students attending the Flint School of Performing Arts in memory of Darline Alderson.
Tributes may be shared at www.sharpfuneralhomes.com.