Surrounded by her loving family, Darlene Manders passed away at her home in Bellevue, IA after a courageous battle with cancer. She was 76 years old. Darlene was born October 13, 1938 in Dubuque, IA, the second child of Clarence and Mary Zahina. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30am, Wednesday, January 14 at St. Josephs Catholic Church in Bellevue. Friends may call from 3:00 to 7:00pm, Tuesday at the Hachmann Funeral Home & Cremation Service in Bellevue and again Wednesday morning from 9:00 to 10:00 at the funeral home.. Darlene attended Visitation Academy, the Catholic girls school in Dubuque where she participated in concerts and the school orchestra. Darlenes life was shaped by her love of music. She once said my childhood was music lessons. I had lessons in piano, voice, violin and dance along with other musical instruments. Darlenes father Clarence Zahina was a talented and popular musician in the Dubuque area and wanted to pass his love of music onto his daughters. From 1945 through 1948 Clarence Zahina and the Barnstormers were featured on a weekly radio show on Sunday afternoons over KDTH Dubuque. It was on this show that Darlene first sang professionally at the age of 7. She and her two sisters Janann and Mary Jane were featured on holidays and other special occasions. Darlene began traveling with her fathers band at the age of 15, and soon thereafter she made her first studio recording. After hiring a manager in 1956, Clarence Zahinas band was featured on WISC-TV from Madison, WI. The show was a great success and they were soon making regular live appearances across the region. Their audience grew to include television shows on WMT from Cedar Rapids, IA and KWWL from Waterloo, IA. There were also numerous appearances at county and state fairs. During the course of her Barnstormer years Darlene played backup for Johnny Cash, Ray Price, Jim Reeves, Red Foley, Pee Wee King, Don Gibson, the Everly Brothers, and many more. Dance hall performances in Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin were standing room only and included such venues as the Moonlight Gardens in East Dubuque, IL and Melody Mill in Dubuque, IA. It was at Melody Mill where Darlene would meet her future husband, Leonard G. Manders. After their marriage in 1959, Darlene would travel to Wisconsin Dells and perform with her father at Tommy Bartletts Water Show. From 1962 to 1963 she would perform with the stars of the Lawrence Welk Show such as Myron Floren, Jo Ann Castel and the Lennon Sisters as well as country stars Glen Campbell and Stonewall Jackson. In 1964 Darlene and Leonard moved their family to Bellevue, IA where they have lived for over 50 years. Darlene shared her love of music with the community by becoming active in St. Josephs Catholic Church. She was organist, singer, director of the childrens choir and writer of the musical score for the very popular polka masses. Darlene performed at these polka masses with the Sieverding Band for over 25 years. Darlene shared her love of dancing with her husband Leonard and friends Loras and Karen Watters. Big bands were their favorite, particularly Jack Morgan and his Orchestra. Dancing together was something they enjoyed together for many years. On April 26, 2014, the Zahina Sisters reunited after 50 years to a standing room only crowd at the Savanna Museum and Cultural Center in Savannah, IL. Darlene, Jannan and Mary Jane were thrilled that they had touched so many lives with their music that fans would return 50 years later to dance and share memories. Darlene is survived by her loving husband of 55 years, Leonard. Four children: Roxanne (Mick) Stielow, Iowa City, IA; Chris (Renee) Manders, North Liberty, IA; Sheila (Brian) Ford, Henderson, NV; Mark (Tammy) Manders, Maquoketa, IA. She is also survived by eight grandchildren and one great grandchild as well as her sisters Jananne, Mary Jane and Carol. Special thanks to Hospice of Dubuque, Dr. Christine Holm, Oncology, nurses and caregivers at Mercy Hospital, Dubuque, and all of the friends and family in the community of Bellevue, IA for their thoughts and prayers.