Darlynne Rief

Obituary of Darlynne S. Rief

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Darlynne Sue Rief Cincinnati - On Saturday, August 14th, 2021, Darlynne Sue Rief, loving wife, mother, school teacher and grandmother, ultimately yielded to her long battle with Alzheimer’s, departing to meet her Lord peacefully, gracefully and courageously at the age of 76. Birth and Education Darlynne was born on October 8th, 1944, in Covington, Kentucky to Thomas Frederick and Mary Louise Theiss. As a youngster, Darlynne was the faithful daughter to a hard-working Kroger grocery store manager and his wife, and grew fond of warm (but very late) family dinners. The family budgeted tightly to visit Florida for fun fishing outings annually. She graduated from Highlands High School (“Go Bluebirds!”) and the University of Cincinnati (“Go Cats!”) with a degree in elementary education, becoming the first college graduate in her family! Darlynne’s great passion for learning and education for herself and others led her to achieve her Masters+30 in Education. Darlynne wrote term papers next to her high school children. Marriage and children While at UC, a charismatic veteran of the Marines Corp who was studying history and business became smitten with Darlynne’s sweet smile, fun loving disposition, and intelligence. Conrad invited her out for a date, that first evening famously concluding with a bold promise that they would be married. This engagement promise was fulfilled only a week later after meeting Conrad’s best friends with a “ring in her glass.” The couple married in 1967, and soon bought a home in the College Hill area of Cincinnati, Ohio and commenced a fast-paced, love-filled life with dual careers and precious time with dear friends in between. The couple were blessed by two children, Todd and Amy, in 1969 and 1971. Darlynne committed to motherhood with all her passion and fire. Together with Conrad, she taught her children faith, serving others, the merits of education, a love of the world, music, animals, sailing, fitness and sports. Darlynne encouraged Todd and Amy in education and learning, and their experience attending the University of Virginia (“Go Hoos!”) was one she and Conrad sacrificed greatly to achieve. And share in it they did! Since Amy was on the soccer team, there were countless 900 mile “weekend trips” from Ohio to Charlottesville and back again in the jeep. Not limited by the need for sleep, the couple drove, drained their bank account and grinned proudly from ear to ear from 1987-1995! Profession and Contribution Darlynne’s passion for education led her to a devoted teaching career, as a 30+ year kindergarten and first grade teacher in Mariemont Schools. Her community-inclusive Thanksgiving plays became such a holiday tradition in the district, with costumes, music, early acting skills and smiles galore! Darlynne relished every interaction with every parent and every child who would engage at any time about the importance of education, and the incredible joy and gift of learning. Late night calls on the landline were unceasing. Faith and Church Darlynne was an unwavering woman of faith, with absolute confidence and commitment in her savior and Lord. She participated in a United Church of Christ as a youth, learned the bible, and converted to Catholicism with the birth of Todd. She immediately became a devout Catholic for life. Her largest church contribution was as a proud soprano in the choir at Saint John Fisher. She adored singing and praising, and was thrilled to visit and sing in dramatic cathedrals in Austria and across Europe. Her spiritual gift was absolutely how to love. Grandchildren Just before and subsequent to Conrad’s early passing in 2003, a saddened Darlynne was blessed by the rapid emergence of five grandchildren, and enjoyed that time intensely. With these grandchildren, she shared her faith and fire for learning, never letting the opportunity of an evening together pass without a story being read –by the grandchildren of course. She was a faithful Grandma-sitter for Kenzie and Kiley when busy Amy and Ken needed a hand, and her trips to Connecticut to visit William, Meredith and Jacob were sweet and impressionable. Her outings are family lore – from Cincinnati Zoo to Connecticut apple orchids and Christmas tree farms to Coney Island roller coasters to Great Wolf Lodge to Broadway! Courageous Battle with Alzheimer’s Darlynne battled Alzheimer’s courageously, enduring the struggle thanks to the unwavering super-human care from Twin Lakes Walden Court staff, and her own fighting spirit. Her gentleness and sweetness imprinted on this staff who surely saw Darlynne at so many difficult moments, and yet we all were rewarded along the way with lively cognitive moments and clear phrases like “I KNOW” and “I LOVE YOU TOO” with bright blue eyes that touched our souls. Darlynne is survived by her daughter, Amy Dunlap (husband Ken), also teachers in Cincinnati; her son, Todd (wife Julie) of Atlanta, Georgia; and five treasured grandchildren, Kiley (16), McKenzie (14), William (22), Meredith (20), and Jacob (18) - all loved and adored! Darlynne’s visitation will be held from 9AM until the time of Mass of Christian Burial, 10AM, on Saturday, August 21st at Saint John Fisher Parish, 3227 Church St., Newtown, Ohio, 45244. Interment will follow at St. Mary Cemetery in St. Bernard. Darlynne’s life, passion and final battle were courageously dedicated to the following causes where donations would be impactful: • Childrens Literacy Initiative for global children’s literacy, 990 Spring Garden St., Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA (19123) • Alzheimer’s Association, 644 Lynn Street, Suite 1026, Cincinnati, OH (45206). Please visit Darlynne’s tribute page at ThomasjustinMemorial.com to share memories and stories.
Saturday
21
August

Visitation

9:00 am - 10:00 am
Saturday, August 21, 2021
St. John Fisher Parish
3227 Church St
Newtown, Ohio, United States
Saturday
21
August

Mass of Christian Burial

10:00 am - 11:00 am
Saturday, August 21, 2021
St. John Fisher Church
3227 Church St
Newtown, Ohio, United States
Saturday
21
August

Interment

12:30 pm - 12:45 pm
Saturday, August 21, 2021
St. Mary Cemetery
E. Ross Ave.
Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
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