Wednesday, December 9, 2015

November 20, 2015 Goleta, California - A Special Tribute to Darlene Bjorkman

Darlene Bjorkman, Teri's mother at the age of 82, died peacefully on November 20, 2015 following a long illness.  She was born in South Gate, CA on August 27, 1933 to Glenn and Peggy Coffey and grew up there with her sole sibling Glenn Coffey Jr.. She graduated from Washington High school in Los Angeles, CA and on August 25, 1951 she married Ray Bjorkman, who at the time was a train engineer.  She continued on to study art at Pierce college in Los Angeles, California.   

Together Ray and Darlene raised four children. Their married life had them living throughout California first in Burbank, then Sepulveda (now Mission Hills) and eventually Goleta.   Darlene worked hard raising four children in those early years as Ray worked full time and also pursued and completed his Electrical Engineering Degree. She kept her four energetic children busy in the hot summer months in the Los Angeles area, and would often, alone, take her children on excursions in the family station wagon, with no air conditioning, to her favorite Zuma Beach. She loved the Los Angeles area where she was very active in the International Women's social and service organization 'Beta Sigma Phi'.  In 1967, employment in the computer industry would bring the family to Goleta, CA where Ray and Darlene made their final home together and completed raising their four children. 

While their children were in high school she worked at the High School jewelry and yearbook manufacturer, Jostens in Montecito, CA and in later years she worked for Friendship Manor, a retirement community in Goleta, California.  She very much loved working at the 'Manor' and played a special role in the lives of the residents there who found her to always have a kind word to say or a smile to share.  

Carmel-by -the- Sea, CA  held a special place in her heart where she and Ray had spent their Honeymoon. Throughout their married lives they would return often to Carmel to tour it's various art galleries. She was artistic, very creative, and an avid collector of fine art.  

She will be greatly missed by her surviving four children, ten grandchildren and three great-grandchildren: Brad Bjorkman and his wife Nancy (Kristina -and her husband Scot and son Kenneth-, Kelsey, Katie and Dane); Craig Bjorkman and his wife Barbara (Erica -and her husband  Albert, daughter Alyssa and son Zachary- and Danica); Glenn Bjorkman and his friend Tara Hunt; and Teri Werner and her husband Bob (Paul, Suzy, Ryan and Garrett).