Willie Dean Norman Darden passed into retirement and joined her Lord and loving husband August 10, 2021. She was 93 with her 94th birthday just a few days from her death. Willie Dean was married to Archie Lamar Darden for 62 years before he died in 2008. She was a trusted wife, friend, and supporter during Archie’s 32 years as Clerk of Court. They were a fun-loving couple with too many friends to count. In addition, she was a loving and caring mother and grandmother, never forgetting a birthday or Christmas present.
Willie Dean, as she preferred to be called, was a member of the Columbia First Baptist Church all her adult life. She believed in her Lord and it was a personal matter with her. She was always available to help anybody who needed it.
Willie Dean was born September 5, 1927, just before the depression, to her parents, Henry Norman, Jr. and Gertie Claunch Norman of Kelly, Louisiana. She lost her father, Henry Norman, Jr., when she was twelve. Her mother, Gertie, worked in grocery stores and raised three children alone through World War II and after. Willie Dean is preceded in death by her parents, by her sister, Laverne Chaddock of New Orleans, and her brother, Curtis Norman, of West Monroe.
Those left to enjoy their memories of her are two sons and their families: Ronnie and Trish Darden of Columbia, Rex and Julie Darden of Grayson, six grandchildren: Leslie Graham (Randall), Larissa Waller (Brandon), Lauren Parker (Terry), Heath Darden (Luccio), Heather Nadolski (Chet), and Hunter Darden (Terri); along with eleven great-grandchildren. Willie Dean also left behind her dear friend and caregiver of eight years, Kathy Mabry.
A celebration of life service will be held at Riser Funeral Home in Columbia, 10:00 AM, Friday, August 13, 2021, with Pastor Stephen Fife officiating. Burial will follow at Welcome Home Cemetery, Grayson, Louisiana. Visitation will be held the evening of August 12, 2021, from 5 PM until 7 PM at the funeral home.
Serving as pallbearers will be Heath Darden, Hunter Darden, Chet Nadolski, Randall Graham, Brandon Waller, and Terry Parker. Honorary pallbearers will be Leo May and Charles Simons.