Cover photo for Charlene Ruth Darner's Obituary
Charlene Ruth Darner Profile Photo
1948 Charlene "Char" Ruth Darner 2024

Charlene Ruth Darner

November 3, 1948 — April 11, 2024

Portage, Michigan

Charlene Ruth “Char” Darner of Portage, Michigan, died on April 11th, 2024, at the age of 75. Char was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, on November 3, 1948, to the late Joseph and Julia (Watts) King. In 1967, Char married Ronald Darner. The two had been married for 56 years.

Char met Ron while she was in school. They started out as friends and quickly became more serious. By the age of eighteen, Char married Ron. She became a stay-at-home mom and worked from home raising her three young kids.

Char started a daycare while the kids were little. She loved having kids around her. Once her three kids were in school, she worked at West Middle School as a Cafeteria Supervisor; her nickname was “Sarge”. She was tough, but she was fair, and she didn’t mess around. Everyone that knew her respected her. She worked as a Cafeteria Supervisor for a while before she reopened her daycare, and she ran the daycare for eight years before she went on to work at the dry cleaners for seven years. She left that to work at Sam’s Club. While at Sam’s Club she was a door greeter, and she did that for eleven years. She used to draw smiley faces on the back of people’s receipts. A lot of people came to Sam’s just to see Char’s smiling face and receive warm hugs. She made everyone feel warm and welcome.

Char was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother who fiercely loved her family. She was loving, kind, generous and caring. She knew how to brighten anyone’s day. She was also a loving neighbor and friend. Ron and Char have been a pillar to their community for fifty-six years and anyone who encountered them knew them as people who would give the shirt off their back.

Char is survived by her children, Tammy (Jeff) Miller, Jeff (Janice) Darner, and Ronda (Chris) Wakild; grandchildren, Jeffrey Miller and Tanya (Patrick) Murphy; great-grandsons, Leroy Murphy and William Mohr; and siblings, June Ann Matlock, Melba (Sherman) Kovack, and Joe (Caryn) King.

Char was preceded in death by her beloved husband; her parents; and grandson, Tyler Titus.

Visitation and funeral services will be held at Pathfinder Church, 8740 S Westnedge Avenue, Portage, MI 49002 on April 20th, with visitation beginning at 10:00 a.m., followed by a funeral service at 11:00 a.m. The burial will follow at Mount Ever-Rest Cemetery. A luncheon will be at Pathfinder church after the burial.

Memorial donations may be made in Char’s honor to the family or to the Myelodysplastic Syndrome Foundation. To leave an online condolence, visit

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Charlene Ruth Darner, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, April 20, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, April 20, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Graveside Service

Saturday, April 20, 2024

12:30 - 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

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