Darlene Whiteman was born January 9, 1963 in Shiprock, NM to Sam and Fern Foster of Hogback, NM. She passed away peacefully surrounded by her loved ones at Saint Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction on September 4, 2021. She spent her younger years growing up on the farm. She helped take care of the farm and also helped with her father's Championship Race Horses. She then moved to Colorado in her teens. She graduated from Montezuma-Cortez HS in 1981. She was a hard worker and started working even before she graduated high school. In the early 1980's she started working for the Ute Mountain Tribe and the Tribal newspaper, Smoke Signals. On July 30, 1983 Darlene married her life long partner Darwin Whiteman. November 10, 1986 they welcomed their first child into the world Brittney Whiteman. Darlene loved being a mother. She was also on the Ute Mountain EMT in the early 1990's. She then started working with the United States Government in Natural Resources.
In 1994 the family welcomed their second child, Braxton Whiteman. Darlene was a great mother never missing a school activity or school program. She enjoyed watching her kids play sports and also excel in school. Darlene then started working as a Medical Clerk for Indian Health Services in the late 1990's. She enjoyed her job and getting to see and talk with all the community members.
Throughout her years with IHS she received the Superior Customer Service Award in 2002. In 2013 she received a certificate for recognition of Twenty Years of Service in the US Government. In 2018 she also received recognition for 25 years of Federal Service. She has worked over 30 years for the US Government and was looking forward to retirement.
In 2018 Darlene took her most prideful role as a grandmother. She loved being a mother but nothing compared to the love she had for her grandson Nahkohe Dodge. During the pandemic she was able to work from home and got to spend a lot of time with her life long partner and her grandson.
Darlene loved life, and always made sure to live it to the fullest. In her younger years you would find her on the court or on the softball fields. She loved to play sports. Los Angeles Lakers was her team and Magic Johnson was her fav. Even when she got older you would still find her at the court or at the fields watching her kids play or her nieces and nephews. She loved her trips to Las Vegas and loved playing those slot machines. She also loved going to concerts, it didn't matter the genre she loved seeing her favorite bands in person. She and her family loved to travel. She was the family cake maker and loved celebrating family birthdays and milestones. Whenever it was Christmas or your birthday you would expect a special gift that she made by hand whether it was a crochet blanket, scarf, or beenie or something beaded. She always put a lot of thought and love into the gift. She loved to support her nieces, nephews and grandkids. Anytime you would see her she would always have a big smile with her dimples showing. She loved to laugh and talk and laugh some more. She was a woman with a big heart and was always there to help. She will be greatly missed.
Surviving Darlene are her mother, Fern Foster Lang of Cortez; her children, Brittney Whiteman (Joshua Dodge) of Towaoc, Braxton Whiteman of Towaoc, Sheldon Johnson of Salt Lake City, Utah; her grandchild, Nahkohe Dodge; and her siblings, B.J. Frost (Harvey) of Towaoc, Gilbert Foster (Roseanne) of Shiprock, N.M., Norma Dupres (Fred) of Rapid City, S.D., Corrina Willie (Mel) of Phoenix, Ariz., and Philbert Foster of Show Low, Ariz. Darlene was preceded in death by her father; her husband, Darwin Whiteman; and by her siblings, Percie Wing, Juanita Dinae, and Delbert Foster.