Dalene Stephens Spaulding, 82, of Paola, passed away Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018, at Vintage Park of Osawatomie surrounded by her daughters.

Visitation will be 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, with funeral service 10 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, both at Dengel & Son Mortuary, 305 N. Pearl, Paola, KS, 66071. Burial will be in the Hillsdale Cemetery. Memorials are to the United Methodist Church or Paola Free Library Foundation and can be sent in care of the funeral home.

Dalene was born Evelyn Mae LaNier on March 17, 1935, in Franklin County, Kansas, the fifth of six children to Lester and Ethel LaNier. In 1940, she was adopted by Dale and Emma Whitaker and grew up in Paola, graduating with the Class of 1953.

On Aug. 16, 1953, Dalene was united in marriage to Daryl Dean Stephens. For many years, they made their family home east of Hillsdale. From 1974 to 1978, they owned and operated the Coast to Coast Hardware store on North Pearl Street in Paola.

In the late 1970s, Dalene took community college classes. She became certified as a medication aide and an EMT.

When Walmart opened a store in Paola, Dalene was hired to be receiving manager. She worked there seven years, ending her employment as one of the first female assistant store managers.

Dalene then worked at Shawnee Mission South High School in the attendance office. She rode to school with her husband who taught there. They retired from the school in 1992.

When Dalene’s husband took on a new career in retirement, she was by his side. He was a United Methodist pastor and she became a pastor’s wife. She loved the time they spent in Pomona, Kansas, and many of those church people became like family to her.

Of all the vocations she had, Dalene was most proud of being a mother to Cindy, Cheryl, and Paula as well as a granny to grandchildren Heidi, Nate, Zach, and Erica, and great-grandchildren Jarod, Keegan, Gracyn, Sylas, Dayle, Reed, Skylar, and Ivy.

In February 1999, Dalene was united in marriage to Alvin Spaulding of Ottawa, Kansas. They enjoyed two years together.

Dalene enjoyed sewing, making many of her daughters’ school clothes. She was an avid reader. She loved music throughout her life. She had sang in choirs and played the piano since her teenage years starting at Paola United Methodist Church. Dalene loved antiques and refinishing furniture. She also loved animals of all kinds.

Dalene participated in Jobs Daughters as a girl, was a Girl Scout leader for her girls, and was active in United Methodist Women. She volunteered many hours at Pomona Senior Center and delivered Meals on Wheels. She was instrumental in establishing a library at Pomona as well.

She is preceded in death by both sets of parents, both spouses, sister Dorothy Hunter, brothers Richard LaNier, Leonard Robbins, and Clifford LaNier.

Dalene is survived by one brother Wayne Hill of Estes Park, Colorado; three daughters Cindy Tinsley (Mark) of Paola, Cheryl Davis (Cam) of Iowa City, Iowa, and Paula Stephens Whatley of Paola; grandchildren Heidi Shulista (Bob), Nate Tinsley (Jennifer), Zach Davis, and Erica Shelangoski (Casey); great-grandchildren Jarod, Keegan, Gracyn, Sylas, and Dayle Shulista, Reed Townsend, Skylar and Ivy Tinsley.