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Center for Women in Transition
411 Butternut Drive
Holland, MI 49424
Life Story / Obituary
Joan Darling was a gentle, kind, and humble spirit. Often known to be quiet and reserved, when it came to her faith however, she was a fierce warrior. Her selfless and caring nature, led her to be an exceptional mother and grandmother. Joan had a passion for interior design and she loved tending to her beautiful flowerbeds over the years. Above all else, it was the time she spent with her grandchildren that meant the most to her. Her gentle wisdom and wonderful sense of humor will be deeply missed, yet her legacy of graciousness will live on forever in the hearts of all those she leaves behind.
Joan’s story began in the year 1959 which brought about many significant changes to our nation. Alaska and Hawaii joined the Union as our 49th and 50th States, the Boeing 707 Jet Airliner came into service, and Barbie Dolls made their debut! Popular movies of that same year included, Some Like it Hot and Ben Hur, while televisions were airing the classics, Bonanza and The Twilight Zone. The fifties era continued its climb of rock n’ roll artists with the Beatles and the King himself, Elvis Presley. During this exciting time, Don and Celia Plasman were pleased to announce the arrival of their baby girl, Joan Marie, on March 15th. Joining her older sisters, Mary and Julie, and followed by her younger brother, Bob, her birth brought much joy and happiness to the family home.
Known as Joannie for most of her childhood as well as into her adult years, she lived a typical childhood of the times. She was especially close to her younger brother and they were known to get into their fair share of mischief together! When the family would visit the local mall, they often played in the car together which always made the shopping trips a little more hurried than her family would’ve liked, but she and Bob always had one another’s backs! A highlight of her childhood years was the year her photos were chosen for the 35th Anniversary Tulip Time posters and brochures. She was a talented artist and loved flowers making this a special memory at an early age.
Although Joannie was married and divorced twice in her lifetime, her children; Tonia, Sarah, and Tieg, were the center of her universe. She relished in her years raising them often staying at home or working very part time. When Tieg came along, Joannie returned to the world of work at Donnelly. Later, she served as an assistant store manager for Salvation Army because of her recognizable talent of quickly spotting high-end quality items and creating beautiful displays. She modeled for her growing children a strong work ethic including never missing a day and being grateful for every opportunity in life. All three of her kids loved to give her a challenge at one time or another. As a matter of fact, once Tonia and Sarah wandered off at Art in the Park when they were barely in grade school and were lost for over an hour! Another memorable time was when Tieg, who was five years old at the time, decided to walk himself around the block to his grandmother’s house without telling anyone! Lucky for them, Joannie had an easy going temperament as well as a strong faith to help her remain calm.
In addition to raising her family, Joannie held many special hobbies and interests. She enjoyed traveling to visit her daughter’s family in North Dakota. Once there, she often put her fears aside and tried out new and adventurous activities, such as ice fishing in frigid weather! On both trips to North Dakota, she was stranded overnight in Chicago and had to take the Amtrack train. Lucky for her that she was a rule follower, as Joannie remembers them vividly warning passengers they would stop the train in the middle of a field and let you out if you didn't follow the rules! Born with a natural green thumb, Joannie’s home was always a showcase for beautiful flowers and plants displaying remarkable color. Much of her eye for design and color could also be seen inside her home as well. She enjoyed decorating leaving at least one room in the house looking like it could be on the cover of a Better Homes and Gardens magazine! However, her grandchildren; Haley, Isabelle, Gideon, and Benny were the apple of her eye! Her heart melted to the sound of them affectionally calling her, Nana. Joannie taught her beloved grandchildren about God’s promises through the beauty of rainbows. They shared many happy memories together and Joannie was immensely proud of each of them.
She was not rich in worldly things but her virtues were priceless. Joan’s smile brought great joy into the hearts of many, especially those who needed comfort. Her selfless sacrifices as well as her unconditional love touched all those who knew and loved her. May they trust in the promises she shared with them knowing that Joannie is preparing a place for them with beautiful plants, flowers, and decorations until their lives join again.
Joan Marie Darling, age 60, of Holland, Michigan was born into her new life on Monday, July 22, 2019. She was preceded in death by her parents, Don and Celia Plasman and a brother, Donnie Plasman. She is survived by her children: Tonia and Scott Butterworth of Allendale, Sarah and Jason Schut of Holland and Tieg and Tiffany Darling of Hudsonville; grandchildren: Haley Newenhouse, Isabelle Schut, Gideon Schut and Benny Darling; sisters and brother: Mary and Marty Praamsma of Holland, Julie and Mark Copier of Holland and Bob Plasman of Holland; many special nieces, nephews, and cousins, and her Beagle, Abby. A memorial visitation will be from 7-9 PM, Friday, August 2, 2019 at Dykstra Funeral Home–Mulder Chapel, 188 West 32nd Street in Holland. Cremation has taken place. Memorial contributions may be given to the Center for Women in Transition, 411 Butternut Drive, Holland, MI 49424.