February 21, 1939—August 1, 2019.
“Her children arise up and call her blessed.” Proverbs 31: 28.
After suffering with Alzheimer’s disease for several years, Darla passed away peacefully on August 1, 2019 with her youngest daughter Timberly by her side.
Darla was born in Caribel, Idaho to Albert and Ruth (Liedkie) Altmiller in her grandmother Phoebe Liedkie’s wash-house where they were living at that time. Her father, Albert, often moved the family to wherever he was working: logging, mining, guiding for big game hunters, making movies, and other activities, so Darla spent her childhood in country logging camps and around family-owned sawmills. After living in tents, trailers, tar-paper shacks, and CCC camps throughout the Pacific Northwest, it is no surprise that Darla could make a home almost anywhere and out of anything.
Darla was 17 and a senior in high school when, on December 23, 1956, she married the love of her life, Myron Frank Alteneder. Her parents agreed to this early marriage on the condition that she would finish high school. She kept her promise and graduated from Orofino High School in 1957. The couple’s first daughter, Myra, was born that September and Darla loved to say that Myra experienced 2 high school graduations. Their son, Forrest, was also born in Orofino just a few weeks before Darla’s 20th birthday.
In 1961 Darla and Myron moved to Hamilton, Montana. They lived in the Bitterroot area for several years, and this is where their daughter, Valley, was born. They moved to Paradise, Montana in 1969 to be closer to Myron’s parents and the Church of God that they loved so well. Their two younger daughters, Sunny and Timberly, were both born after this move. Darla resided in Paradise, Montana until she was moved to the Mineral County Long-Term Care Facility in October of 2018. The family wishes to thank them for the loving care she received.
Darla was faced with the many challenges of being a single parent after Myron’s death on July 8th, 1974. She learned to take her needs to the Heavenly Father and found she could depend on His guidance. A wonderful mother, aunt, sister, grandmother and great-grandmother, Darla was known for her hospitality, love of board games, and her generous spirit. Her grandchildren have fond memories of playing Rack-O, Mastermind and Dominoes with her. She was incredibly kind and faithful, and she had a regular habit of getting up earlier than anyone else so she could have quiet time to read the Bible and pray. She was always looking for people to invite into her home, and we all miss her amazing Sunday dinners. Anyone who needed shelter would be welcomed and treated as part of the family.
Darla’s joy was capturing the beauty of nature in her oil paintings. She painted on everything: canvas, saw-blades, Christmas tree ornaments, sweatshirts, and even dried conk fungus. For graduations, weddings, and other milestone events, she would give an original painting to her friends and family members that they will treasure forever. In addition to her hobbies, she worked at the Hospitality House in Plains where regulars would come especially to eat her delicious soups. She also worked as an in-home care provider, and everywhere she went, people received the best care that was available to them. In later years, she worked at the Paradise Elementary School where she cooked homemade meals. Students especially loved her fabulous from-scratch chicken and noodles.
Darla repented of her sins and got saved as a young person and consecrated her life to God. A living example of faith in God and His Word, she has extended that heritage to future generations of Christians. She was a devoted member of the Paradise Church of God, where she spent many years teaching Sunday School and singing in the choir.
She is preceded in death by her husband Myron Alteneder, father Albert Altmiller, mother Ruth, brother LeRoy and two granddaughters Deborah Alteneder and Amanda McCamment.
Darla is survived by her brother Robert (Bob) Altmiller, wife Brenda, sister Sharon Walk, husband Mike, and five children: Myra Dowdy, husband Robert, Forrest Alteneder, wife Laurie, Valley Gardner, husband Scott, Sunny Chase, husband Jason, and Timberly Kelly, husband Gyme.
With eighteen living grandchildren and twenty-one great-grandchildren, Darla’s legacy lives on. She will be missed, but her family rejoices that she is with her loved ones and Jesus in heaven.
The family wishes to extend their thanks and appreciation to those who devoted much time and love to her care in the last few years. Many gave of their time and resources to provide for Darla’s needs, and it is much appreciated.
The Funeral Service will be held at Paradise Church of God on Saturday, August 10th at 11 AM. The Church of God in Paradise will be providing a dinner following the service for all of her friends and family who would like to stay and share memories of Darla.
Flowers will be received at Sunset Hills Funeral Home in Plains, Montana