Darleen Mae (Walters) Hertneky was born in Burlington, Colorado on August 6,1935, and passed away August 27, 2022, in Burlington, CO. Her parents were Ryle and Vera (Johnson) Walters and she arrived just in time to help her older sister, Wilma Vera, celebrate her second birthday. Darleen’s father owned Walters Auto Service, an automotive repair and parts business on then Highway 24. Since they lived in the back of the shop, Darleen and her sister’s playground became the parted out cars behind the shop. Normal play attire was dresses and bare feet. When she was six, Darleen fell out of the rear door of her father’s car, which was traveling at 50 mph. She entered the first grade with a bandaged wrapped head and had a class picture to document it. When she was 10, the Highway Cafe was short of help in the summer so she helped out washing and drying dishes by hand. Forever the worker, Darleen worked at the bakery, dime store, Kit Carson County Treasurer’s office, before owning and operating Sloan’s Motel. It was at the bakery that she first met Harry Hertneky, who had moved to Burlington to work on building Bonny Dam. When work on the dam was finished, Harry worked at the Buick garage and would come over to the bakery for coffee, where Darleen was working. They started dating the summer she was 14, even though dad was quick to point out that she turned 15 a month later. They were married in a small ceremony on March 15, 1952. She finished high school and then went on to work at Kit Carson County Treasurer’s office. When the drought and recession hit in 1956, the dealership closed, so they, along with their two oldest, Randy Lee and Harry Francis Jr. moved to Aurora, Loveland and then Greeley before returning to Burlington in 1958. “It got so the clothes just jumped back in the boxes,” she would say. They purchased a 7-Up route in 1960, which consisted of several soft drinks. It covered from Denver to the state line and southeast of Limon to the state line. They settled in their house on 10th Street and added to the family with David Dean, Cheryl Mae and George Walter. “In 1966, we bought Sloan’s Motel and moved everyone there. The living quarters were quite cramped. (There was only one bedroom when they moved in.) Harry worked at the (Sim Hudson’s) Chevrolet garage, too. After a time, our 16-room motel grew to 28 rooms with enough bedrooms to accommodate all of us,” she wrote They bought their first quarter of farm ground in 1973. Harry’s little farming venture kept him busier each passing summer, which was also peak season at the motel, so they sold the motel in 1980. Darleen stayed active in St. Catherine’s Altar Society, doing flowers for the church and organizing the Country Kitchen booth at the fair. She loved the fair booth and did it for nearly 60 years before turning over the reins in 2012. She had a way about her to get anyone she asked to do what she wanted, a skill that worked to the fair booth’s advantage. Keeping up with Harry also kept Darleen busy. She did her part to help him with his farming and packed the bags and tagged along on all of his travel adventures. They spent their retirement years traveling by car, plane and ship, and visited about every state and continent along the way. Her 13 grandchildren held that special spot and she professed all to be her favorites. They would invade during fair week, stop by for a day, or days, and always get greeted with something good cooking on the stove, cup of ramen, oatmeal cream pies or candy bars. Darleen loved to crochet and do other handwork. She always had a project going. She loved to garden and raise flowers. Her petunias were amazing and her onions were stellar. From her garden, she made the best sauerkraut and dill pickles. No one has been able to replicate her pickles, despite all of her instruction and lessons. She was the matron of nine Eagle Scouts that included four sons and five grandsons. Her legacy is the raising of children who are all successful in their own way. Darleen faced memory loss and several medical issues later in life. The past two years, she has been a resident of Grace Manor Care Center, moving in during COVID. Through it all, she was a trooper. She always kept her smile and her sense of humor. Darleen loved her family, popcorn, chocolate, and ice cream, and not particularly in that order. Darleen was preceded in death by her husband of 65 years Harry, son Harry Jr., and her parents. She leaves to mourn her passing: children, Randy (Laura) Hertneky of Yuma, (Dayla) Hertneky of Burlington, David (Kathy) Hertneky of Burlington, Cheryl (Matt) Witt of Flagler, George (Melissa) Hertneky of Brush; 13 grandchildren, Lisa (Tyson) Brown, Erin (Ben) Ross, Michael Hertneky, Andrew (Tracy) Hertneky, Mary (John) Hamilton, Brad (Lynnette) Hertneky, Tyler Hertneky, Jennifer (Cody) Martin, Mindy (Brian) Reimer, Kenzie (Alex) Lowther, Wyatt Witt (fiancée Grace Batchelor), James Hertneky and Joe Hertneky, 23 great grandchildren, her sister, Wilma Cirbo; brother-in-law Kenny Hertneky, nieces and nephews, extended family and friends. Public Visitation and Rosary will be held Friday September 2, 2022 at 6:00 pm at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church in Burlington, CO. Mass of Christian Burial will be held Saturday September 3, 2022 at 10:00 am at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church 450 3rd Street Burlington, CO. Interment will follow at Fairview Cemetery 1045 N. 15th Street Burlington, CO. Memorial Contributions can be made in Darleen’s name to the St. Catherine of Siena Altar and Rosary Society PO Box 38 Burlington, CO 80807 or The Alzheimer’s Association by visiting act.alz.org.