Darlene Zutz


Darlene Diane (Heikes) Zutz

It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of Darlene Diane (Heikes) Zutz, who passed away on February 11th, 2024 at the age of 77.

Born on August 7, 1946, in Adrian, MN to Clarence and Jennie Heikes, she was one of seven children. Darlene grew up in Ellsworth, MN and later moved to Mankato to attend college where she met her husband Calvin. They then started their teaching careers in Waterville, MN and then Clinton, IA. Putting a hold on teaching, they moved to Blue Earth, MN to take over the family farm. She ended her special education/business teaching career in Harmony, MN.

Darlene lived a fulfilling life with passions for her grandchildren, cooking, crocheting and sewing quilts. Her grandchildren, “punkies”, remember her as always being there to put on a band-aid, make a meal, and protect them from traumatic life events. Her children remember her as a devoted mother who unfortunately lived many years with a variety of health issues but still had the strength to raise them and never forget to give them a comb on picture day, help with homework, or attend a school event. She was a homemaker at heart by creating and sustaining a tidy, traditional “home” where her children and grandchildren always had a place to return.

Darlene also had a love of animals. On the farm she had goats, chickens, pigs, horses, geese, barn cats, and dogs because she wanted her children to have the full experience of farm life. She also had a large garden that kept her busy canning and the family fed. Later in life, she always had a small companion or two in her home to keep her company. She enjoyed several hours of snuggles with her cat Squeaky and most recently her toy poodle, Tanner.

Darlene enjoyed time with her sisters and brothers and often was found playing a highly competitive game of cards during the holiday get-togethers. She also enjoyed time with her quilting friends on weekend adventures and square dancing when she was younger.

Family Who Went Before

Darlene is preceded in death by father Clarence Heikes, mother Jennie (VanRoekel) Heikes, and brother Peter Heikes (late Sharon).

Family She Left Behind

She was a dedicated wife to her husband Calvin Zutz, and a devoted mother to her children Callene Bigalk (husband Todd), Michael Zutz (wife Andrea), and Amy Larsen (significant other Jarrod). She was a loving grandmother to Alex Bigalk (Amanda), Cody Bigalk (Bridget), Ashley Zutz (Nathan), Damon Zutz (Andrea), Mikayla VanMinsel, Kaylee Bigalk, Trenton Larsen, Abby Zutz, and Trista Larsen and a loving great-grandmother to Shelby Bigalk and Oliver O’Donnell.

She is also survived by five of her siblings and fourteen nieces and nephews. Her siblings are as follows: Beverly Feil (Ron), Linda Heikes, Joan Barta (late Jim), Dwayne Heikes (Janice), and Randy Heikes (Tania).

Darlene may no longer be by our side but is forever in our hearts.

A celebration of life will be held for family and friends on Saturday, March 9th at 2:00 p.m. at Root River Community Church in Harmony.

Address for service:

Root River Community Church

(Harmony Campus)

640 1st Ave SW, Harmony, MN 55939

One thought on “Darlene Zutz

  1. Our family was so sorry to hear about the passing of Darlene. May the special memories you made together help you through this difficult time. Prayers for all your families.

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