Darlene Bonczkowski, beloved daughter, mother, sister, aunt, niece, life mate and friend died Saturday, March 11, 2023, in Portland, Oregon. She was 55 years young.
Darlene was born Darlene A Gause in 1967 in Philadelphia, PA, to parents Shelley and Jerry Gause. In 1982 at the age of 15 she moved to St. Louis with her mom Shelley and brother LR.
After graduating high school, Darlene was finding her path forward and future career. As a Cheer Leader for a professional indoor soccer league, The St. Louis Storm in the early 90’s, she was afforded great opportunities. Following that she joined TWA as a flight attendant where she was able to travel the world both Domestic and Internationally where Spain was a frequent destination. Other early careers included Veterinary Assistant, Furniture Refinisher, Nail Technician, as well as a hand model for nail brochures.
And then she found her niche and new passion. FITNESS. This began a career that touched so many people and where she experienced body building. During this time she competed professionally and won many awards. In her journey to become master of her craft, she pursued and received professional licensing credentials, and her scope was broad. From 1997 until she moved to Oregon in 2020 she continued to be instrumental in many aspects of the industry. Through the years Darlene continued to follow her devotion in the field she loved as a Freelance Fitness Instructor, Massage Therapist, Esthetician, Yoga Instructor, Personal Trainer, Health Coach, Nutrition Specialist and Fitness Director. Two of her many accomplishments were “Zumba for The Cure” and working with “Rock Steady Boxing” as a certified coach specializing in individuals with Parkinson’s disease.
During her extraordinary and colorful life, she met and married Paul Bonczkowski. They had 4 beautiful children. Her life was devoted to her children. Divorced in 2015, she began a new chapter. Moving to Oregon in 2020 to be close to her mom as well as join Eric and begin a new journey, she found a new career as well working in the Providence Health System, winning the respect and love of her new work family until her passing.
Darlene loved the great outdoors. Exploring Oregon and all it had to offer was a new passion.
The loss of Darlene is profound, mourned by her mother, Shelley, her 4 children, Jacob (and his family), Mitchell, Samantha and Nicholas, her brother LR, sister Kari and their children, her uncle Mark and his wife, along with Eric, her beloved most significant other.
A Celebration of Life will be hosted on April 14th at 1:00 PM at Hillside Chapel, 1306 7th St, Oregon City, Oregon. Dress code- Not black if possible. This is a celebration. She will be dearly missed by all.
Published by Hillside Chapel, Inc. on Mar. 15, 2023.