Speaker Bio: Darlene Larsen

Darlene Larsen has lived in Jacksonville since she was 10 years old, grew up in Jax Beach, married at 19, had a son, and was divorced shortly after. She lived as a single mother for a few years and worked various jobs to provide support for her child. She met her future husband Kim at the workplace; shortly after marrying they moved to Gainesville to attend college, she earned a degree in Graphic Design while her husband got his Master’s in Architecture. They returned to Jacksonville and soon after had two children, by then she was the mother of three boys, which kept her busy for a while. When her boys started school she became aware of the need for volunteers in the school and also the church they attended, she became quite active in that capacity. Serving as a volunteer she has worn many hats: PTA Officer, Cafeteria Worker and Leader, Costume and Set Designer, Sunday School Teacher, Women’s Group Leader, Auction Assistant and then Coordinator (at her previous church). She eventually accepted a position as a substitute and assistant Religion Teacher for the pastor in a Catholic school in Riverside, where the classes focused on bible study for middle schoolers. Throughout her life she has pursued an interest in music, needle arts and gardening, has become proficient on the Mountain Dulcimer and Tin Whistle and is now learning autoharp. She is also a sewist with a focus on quilting and fiber arts and keeps busy studying and planting native plants (if possible) on the challenging sand dune garden where her home is situated.

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