Darlena Rae (Olmstead) Bates, (75) of North Branch left us unexpectedly of an aneurysm on January 27th, 2022. Ducker Road will never be the same without her.
Darlena (Dodd) was born on March 16th, 1946, the first-born child to Jake (Roy) and Bette (Blackburn) Olmstead in Pontiac, MI. She was big sister to Linda (Bovine), Jeanie (Burke), Becky (Lefler), Tracy (Pollina), and Mark Olmstead.
Dodd attented Kearsley High School in Flint where her love story with Billie Bates began in 8th grade. Dar and Billie married right after graduation in August of 1964 and were together for over 50 years until Bill’s passing in 2015. Together they had two children; Billie Bates II and Jodie (Brent) Miller, both of North Branch.
Dodd was the family matriarch. She was a born caregiver and had a hand in raising and guiding everyone in her family; first her siblings, and then as Bill was driving truck all week she had the kids. She was an incredible mother, aunt, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She attended all their school sporting events and was known for cheering them on with her megaphone and cowbell.
She adored and spoiled her grandchildren; Katie (Fricke) Richardson, Dalton and Dylan (Emily) Bates, Luke, Logan, and Lawson Rutledge. She found endless joy in spending time with her many nieces and nephews including; Eric Olmstead and his children, Natalie and Hailey, Michelle (Jason) Haight and her son, Brennan and Jennifer Olmstead and her children, Ava and Finn.
She had five great-grandchildren that she loved with all her heart; Raidyn and Ryker Richardson, Tucker, Blakely, and Bella Bates.
Dodd worked for Lapeer Hospital for over 28 years as a nursing aid, unit clerk, spending most of those years in the birth center helping deliver babies, including her youngest grandson.
Dodd enjoyed her retirement by spending time weeding her strawberries and many flower gardens, visiting with her five great-grandchildren, digging through a good sale rack, or chasing down a lost horse, dog, or pig! She loved to attend any type of show or play, and always topped off her fancy outfits with just the perfect hat!!! She was also a member of the Red Hat Society. Dodd was known for her potato soup and goulash, helping strangers, bargaining, the best advice, weeding her flowerbeds, and going to plays.
She will be deeply missed by all, including her best friend/cousin Jan Sabo, they were each others “person”. Dodd would strike up conversations with total strangers and she would talk your ear off. She was probably late but always worth the wait!
Dodd was preceded in death by her parents, her beloved Bill and her nephew Cody Olmstead.
"N" SO ANYHOW....I SAYS, you were right, we are going to miss you and WE LOVE YOUR GUTS!
The family will be present for visitation on Thursday, February 3rd, 5:00 P.M.-8:00 P.M. and on Friday February 4th, 2:00 P.M.-8:00 P.M. at Blackburn Chapel-Martin Funeral Home. On Saturday, February 5th, visitation will 12:00 P.M.-1:00 P.M. with funeral service to follow at 1:00 P.M. Dodd will be laid to rest next to her husband at Westlawn Cemetery.
You may share an online condolence to the family at www.blackburnchapel.com
Arrangements by Blackburn Chapel-Martin Funeral Home