Darrell D. Libke, 74, passed away at the UI Hospitals in Iowa City on September 18, 2018, from complications of cancer surgery. Visitation will be held Sunday, September 23, from 4 – 8 P.M. at Becker-Milnes Funeral Home in Sumner and for one hour preceding the funeral Monday at the church. Funeral services will be at 10:30 on Monday, September 24 at St. John Lutheran Church in Sumner with Rev. Tracy Hinkel officiating. Interment will follow at Union Mound Cemetery in Sumner. Becker-Milnes Funeral Home is in charge of services.
Darrell Libke was born July 12, 1944, in Aurelia, Iowa, son of Albert and Alice (Lydell) Libke. He graduated from Aurelia High School in 1962 and Buena Vista College in 1966. In 1975 he earned an MA degree from UNI in speech with emphasis in oral interpretation.
In 1975 he married Nancy Samuelson; they made their home in Sumner. Together they shared many great travels, exploring the U.S. and its history, enjoying all types of theatre throughout the Midwest, and discovering great restaurants. Their daughter Adrianne was a wonderful addition to their lives, joining them in numerous adventures even from an early age. They joyfully welcomed son-in-law Ryan and later, grandchildren Norah and Grant.
Darrell began his teaching career in Malvern and later, Glenwood in southwest Iowa. In 1970 he began a 30-year career at West Central, Maynard, teaching high school English, coaching both group and individual contest speech, and directing countless plays and musicals. In 2001 he was inducted into the Iowa High School Speech Association Hall of Fame. After retirement his love of teaching led him back to West Central for long-term substituting and as an adjunct instructor for NICC until 2017.
Darrell was an active member of St. John Lutheran Church in Sumner; through the years he served as a deacon, confirmation teacher, scripture reader, and part of the ‘counting team.’
Beyond his family, career and church, Darrell took pride in community. He was a charter member of the Sumner Lions Club and later returned to active involvement in fundraising activities, as well as serving in several officer positions. In 2012 he was honored by being named a Melvin Jones Fellow through the Lions Club. Darrell also worked with the local United Fund for several years to help the community. The Sumner Community Theatre benefitted from his efforts on stage, behind the scenes, and as a director. In later years he continued judging for the Iowa High School Speech Association, as well as serving as an officer for the Hall of Fame.
Although he always said teaching was his real hobby, puzzles, staying current on the news (and talking back at it), clipping coupons, and visiting with people were his everyday pleasures. Time spent with kids, grandkids, his sister, cousins, and friends was always the best.
Darrell was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Duane and Dennis. He is survived by his wife, daughter, son-in-law, grandchildren, sister Ellen, sister-in-law Leann, cousins, and nieces.