ESCANABA – Darlene Dorothy Norman Prokos, 84, of Escanaba (currently residing in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin), died on Sunday, June 5, 2022 at UP Health System – Marquette. She was born April 19, 1938 in Escanaba, daughter of Ralph and Dorothy (Brandt) Norman. Darlene grew up and attended school in Escanaba where she graduated from Escanaba High School in 1956. After graduation, she continued her education at Northern Michigan University to earn her Bachelor of Arts. The former Darlene Norman married John George Prokos on February 2, 1957 in Escanaba and together they shared 62 years of marriage. Darlene and John moved to Mackinaw City, Michigan to begin their teaching careers before moving to teach in Vulcan, Michigan. She then received a scholarship from NMU to attend the University of Michigan to pursue her studies in social work. In 1968, Darlene and John welcomed their twins, Ginger and John. While their children were young, she was a loving homemaker and also taught art classes to the elderly in the evenings. In the 1980s, Darlene began supply teaching in local school districts and later became a teacher’s aide until her retirement in the late 1990s. Darlene had an artistic gift and often focused on acrylic mediums and watercolors, while devoting himself to pottery. Always eager to expand her knowledge, she took almost every art course available at Bay College. Her children remember her encouragement to be creative, allowing them to create havoc, explore, experiment and embrace the creative process – something they will forever cherish and recognize for free and wonderful parenting. Darlene was a founding member of the East Ludington Gallery in Escanaba. Her love of animals motivated her to become a longtime supporter and benefactor of the Delta Animal Shelter. In 1994, Darlene realized her dream of traveling to Paris with her daughter, Ginger, and her friend, Ruth Spade. She was blessed with a close network of family and friends, including Sally Swee, Joan Rust and her sister, Judy Christiansen. Darlene really enjoyed visiting the cabin on the Stonington Peninsula, attending a drawing class at Bay College, reading a mystery and taking a good nap! She will be greatly missed by her children, her granddaughter, her sister and many friends.
Darlene is survived by her daughter, Ginger (Richard) Marten of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin; son, Hon. John Prokos (Melinda Baas) of Rock Springs, Wy.; granddaughter, Rachel Marten of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin; sister, Judy Christiansen of Escanaba; nephew, Edward Christiansen of Green Bay, Wisconsin; brothers-in-law, Charles (Rene) Prokos of Livonia, Mich., and James (Tula) Prokos of Ann Arbor, Mich.; and several nieces and nephews.
Darlene was predeceased by her parents, Ralph and Dorothy Norman; and her husband, John Prokos, on July 7, 2019.
A memorial exhibition and luncheon are scheduled for July 2022. Full arrangements will be forthcoming. Interment will be at Lakewood Cemetery in Stonington, Michigan. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Delta Animal Shelter or the Bonifas Fine Arts Center.
Anderson Funeral Homes assists the Prokos family and online memories can be shared at www.andersonfuneralhomes.net.