Darlene Marie Leingang, 76, of Mandan, ND, passed away peacefully surrounded by family at the Baptist Home in Bismarck on Wednesday, January 24, 2024.
A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Monday, January 29, 2024, at 11:00 AM at Christ the King Catholic Church, Mandan, ND with Rev. Fred Harvey presiding. Burial will follow at Mandan Union Cemetery.
Visitation will be on Sunday, January 28, 2024, from 3:30 - 6:00 PM at Weigel Funeral Home in Mandan with a Rosary at 6:00 PM by the former Catholic Daughters followed by a Vigil Service by Deacon Kevin Leingang. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the service on Monday at the church.
Darlene was the second daughter born to Mike and Katie (Steckler) Fleck gracing this world on January 9, 1948, in Flasher, ND. She was raised on the family farm south of Flasher and graduated from Flasher High School in 1966. In her youth, Darlene’s days were filled with farm chores, milking cows, and offering a helping hand as needed. While in high school, she worked at Meyer’s Café. Darlene was a proud Bulldog and made sure she told everyone she met where she was from. Love blossomed in Darlene’s life when she met Marvin Leingang and on Monday, June 26, 1967, they were married in Flasher, ND. Darlene and Marvin lived west of St. Anthony on the Leingang Farmstead until moving to Mandan in 1968.
Darlene started working at Kist Livestock in the café in 1967. Darlene loved the café at Kist’s, making many life-long friends while preparing homemade casseroles, soups, and salads for the local farmers and ranchers. Darlene left Kist’s café in 2002 to take on a new challenge as Food Service Manager for Horizon Middle School. Her outgoing and contagious personality along with her cooking expertise made Darlene perfect for the job, retiring in 2013. She also worked as a greeter at Weigel Funeral Home.
In any kitchen, especially her own, Darlene was truly in her element. She loved to cook and bake for her family and friends, while often being asked to make macaroni, German or mustard potato salad, and her homemade caramel rolls for friends’ family events. After retirement, Darlene volunteered to cook for Special Olympic events in Bismarck, prepared funeral meals, and started the German supper meals at Christ the King parish. Darlene was an active volunteer at Mandan Eagles club as well.
Darlene enjoyed traveling with Marvin making several trips to see her brothers in Iowa and Texas. They traveled to Hawaii, Mexico, Caribbean, and Alaska with many family and friends. She was especially happy to spend a week in the Holy Land with her best friend Edna Fleck, a trip of a lifetime. Darlene loved music, especially older country western themes and Elvis. You’d often see her on the dance floor with Marvin and their many friends.
Darlene loved to garden, often pickling and canning her garden produce. What she didn’t use, she shared with others. She was proud of her backyard flower garden as well, making sure anyone who visited had a chance to visit her flower garden. She loved her cabin located south of Kist Livestock at Jetty Beach. The cabin had a large garden and was a haven for many family and friend gatherings.
Darlene was beyond proud of her children and grandchildren, whom often referred to her as GDar. Family was everything to her, having family together and close was extremely important to Darlene. Sunday evenings were marked by her signature red sauce meatballs, mashed potatoes, and corn, a tradition lovingly continued whenever a grandchild was leaving for school or had an event. Darlene was a staunch supporter of her grandchildren, never missing a game, meet, play, or musical. She didn’t always follow the event or knew who won or lost, but she most likely talked to everyone at the event. She started an annual family trip to a cabin at East Silent Lake, Minnesota, from 2015-2021. Many memories were made at the lake.
Darlene was a true example of living a Christian life. Her faith and love for Jesus was very important to her as she demonstrated that through her giving heart and helping hand. Darlene was an active member in Catholic Daughters and Eucharistic Minister at Christ the King.
Darlene is survived by her husband of 56 years, Marvin; son, Troy Leingang (Twila) and grandchildren, Trever, Ty, Taylor; son, Todd Leingang (Colleen) and grandchildren, Lucas, Mason, and Andrew; daughter, Tracy LaMont (Mike) and grandchildren, Zach and Seth; sister, Marlene Braun (Fred); brothers, Mike Fleck (Carol) and Arnie Fleck (Sandy); sister in-law, Gerri Fleck; brothers-in-law, Duane Leingang (LeAnn), Charles Leingang (Deb), Jeff Leingang (Doreen); sisters-in-law, Diane Evinger (Ernie), Pat Gisinger (Richard), Paulette Vogel (Adam), Annette Eckroth (Ron), Cindy Moos (Larry), and Mikki Fried (Mike); and many friends and relatives.
Darlene was preceded in death by her parents, Mike and Katie Fleck; sisters, Noreen Fleck, Geraldine Friesz and brother in-law, Leonard Friesz; brother, Norman (Beef) Fleck; mother in-law, Elizabeth Leingang; father in-law, Anton A. Leingang; and nephews, Austin Fleck and Anthony Leingang.
The family extends heartful thanks to everyone who provided care and support throughout Darlene’s journey.
Memorial donations can be made in Darlene’s name to Bismarck Memory Café or ND Alzheimer’s Association, ensuring her legacy of love and compassion lives on.