Deacon Darlene Rochelle Whitehead of Avonmore, PA, left her earthly home Saturday December18, 2021. Of her it can be said “Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all” (Proverbs 31:29).
Darlene was born in Latrobe, PA to parents Lorin (Sonny) Banks and his wife Bertha Lee (booker)Banks on January 9, 1958. She, like her brothers and sisters, demonstrated her gift of song at an early age. She liked to dance, liked to laugh, was a leader and enjoyed spending time with her family. Like her father, she had a commanding presence, and had no problem making her presence and feelings known. From an early age she had a desire to be like her father, and later in her life followed him in Ministry by becoming the first female Deacon at First Baptist Church in Avonmore, now Divine Order Tabernacle.
Darlene was a graduate of Kiski Area High School in Vandergrift PA. She was a graduate of Newport School of Health and Business, and later graduated Hardy Bible School. She loved to study her Word and was well versed in Biblical Doctrine. Along with being a deacon, she was a member of her youth group, helped with the Kitchen Committee, and was church clerk. She was a member of the youth choir, going on the be a valued member of the First Baptist Church choir and sang with the group Voices of Harmony. You would often hear requests when she entered various churches for Darlene to Sing her song, “He’ll Welcome Me”. She was a member of the Alle-Kiski Mass Choir and was Honored by the Alle-Kiski Revival for her work in the ministry.
After high school, Darlene enlisted in the Army earning herself the nickname Sarge. After leaving the Army, she worked as a Nurses Aid at Kane Regional Nursing Center. She later joined Norma Manufacturing where she a valued laborer until the end of her life here on Earth.
Darlene leaves behind her two precious children, Lorenda Darchelle, and Dalton Lee Ross and adopted by love daughter Tiffany, her estranged husband Silas Edward Whitehead, new love Pat Jones along with her siblings Patricia Anderson (Frank), Ron Banks (Geri), Victoria Stevens (Carey) and William Banks (Mimi); and a multitude of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Although her physical presence will be missed, her legacy of love, strength and ministry will live on.
Family will receive friends on Wednesday, December 22, 2021 at the First Baptist Church of Avonmore from 2 PM to 4 PM and 6 PM to 8 PM. Going Home Celebration will be held on Thursday, December 23, 2021 at the First Baptist Church of Avonmore at 11 AM. Interment will follow at Westview Cemetery.
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