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Strater, Darlene A.

February 4, 1957 –
 April 2, 2015


A Celebration of life service for Darlene Ann Strater, 58, of McKinney, Texas will be held at 6:00 P.M., Friday, April 10, 2015 at ARIA Memorial Chapel.

Darlene Strater passed away April 2, 2015 after a four month stay in the hospital.

Darlene was born in Akron, Ohio on Febuary 2, 1957, a daughter of Claude and Sybil Rollins.

Darlene was a teacher for the past 25 years, spending the last 15 working for McKinney Independent School District. She took a liking for working at the alternative schools. In 2008, she was nominated for Teacher of the Year.

She is remembered for her selflessness and kind heart towards everyone.

She leaves three children, James of Coleman, Alabama, and Katy and Jenny of McKinney.

Overflow parking is located at Lowe’s parking lot just east of Toyota’s parking lot. Toyota of Plano has a towing policy and will not allow any parking for funerals in their parking areas. Management at Lowe’s, however, offers their condolences and welcomes any overflow to their parking area. 

Arrangements are under the direction of
ARIA Cremation Service and Funeral Home
19310 Preston Road
Dallas, Texas 75252

    Mike Stern
    8 Apr 2015

    Tribute to Darlene Strater,
    a Teaching Colleague Gone Too Soon

    Teaching at-risk youngsters isn’t quite as simple as “putting your foot down” or adding some growl to your voice or a menacing glare to your visage. The kids we teach have been through all of that – they’ve been screamed at, physically threatened and in some cases have been either or both the perpetrators and victims in beatings. And those aren’t even the worst crimes that some have been part of.
    However, Darlene Strater had a rare talent for subtly navigating through all of the rebellion and apathy that she encountered at the Collin County Residential Center. Ms. Strater, who passed away on April 2, 2015 following a lengthy illness that hospitalized her and kept her from her students since late December 2014, was a loving educator who used her “mom” persona to help children ages 8 to 18 embrace the English Language Arts curriculum she taught.
    Darlene, who was 58 and is survived by her daughters Katy and Jenny and her son James, specialized in teaching, mentoring and managing the cases of Special Education/Special Needs students, many of whom had severe learning disabilities.
    She had that rare ability to win over a classroom that was populated with some of the toughest and emotionally challenged youngsters. Shrugging aside their protests, melting away their apathy and inspiring them to believe they could succeed in completing a worksheet or analyzing a piece of literature, “Dar” quickly became the students’ favorite teacher.
    Although she always encouraged and praised her students, she also had a tough, snarky side that served her well whenever a student tested her good nature and patience. Early in the Fall 2012 semester, Dar encouraged a student to explain a situation in his life similar to one in a story the kids had just read.
    When it became apparent that he was bragging about a crime in which he’d been involved, Darlene shut him down with a sharply-delivered “you can stop right now….that’s not appropriate for this class” that quieted the student, reestablished order to the surroundings, and gave other teachers a glimpse of how to manage a pod (classroom) in this setting.
    Darlene was a superb teaching colleague, a wonderful “teammate” who openly shared her experience with and advice for finding the best, most efficient way to empower at-risk students to find the “light at the end of the tunnel” and set their lives’ courses back on track.
    Needless to say, the news of her death has hit each of us very hard. We all loved Dar, not only because she was an outstanding educator, but because of the person she was. She cared about each of us as teachers just as much as she cared about her students. She would go out of her way to provide us with curricular material whenever she thought it would benefit students.
    As teachers of at risk students in the McKinney Independent School District, Darlene and each of us as educators shared a commitment to help our students overcome life’s trials and tribulations in the hope of preparing for a brighter future.
    Fortunately, the stories and memories of this amazing woman will somehow enlighten our spirits, and keep her in our hearts.
    Rest in peace, Darlene. We love you dearly, and we miss you!

    Rachel Strater
    8 Apr 2015

    Darlene was one of the nicest people I have ever met. From day one she tried to make me feel like part of the family. She always did that. She always went out of her way to make sure other people was happy. She had such a caring heart. Her smile could make even the most cold hearted person feel love. She was a angel among us. She was a tough lady who i admired on so many levels for so many things. She has 3 wonderful children. And through them, she will always live.
    Darlene was one of the best kinds of teacher. She took on “Hard to teach” kids and loved doing it. She would stand firm and wouldnt take any crap but showed them that some people care and are willing to go that extra mile just so one day they can have the same advantages as anyone else. She never looked down on anyone. She always showed people respect and a certain kindness that is almost lost to the world today.
    I will miss you Darlene. You have no idea on how much you were loved. It is a sad time but I know, You are now in a better place. We love you and will always be thinking of you.

    Layton and Glema Smith
    8 Apr 2015

    Darlene,although we never met in person, I have to say I admire the career you choose for yourself.helping (troubled kids) that might not have a change at a decent life. It was not an easy job to do and you could have chosen a different career for yourself.A less stressful job could have been yours but you chose to help the ones that need a helping hand in life.I like to think that the years that you taught there you helped turn dozens of lives around. You left two beautiful daughters Katy and Jenny and a handsome , loving son, James, to whom I am fortunate enough to have as my son in law.Prayers are with all the family and May God confort them all as only He knows how.

    Susan Moore
    10 Apr 2015

    To my beloved James, James Jr., Katy and Jenny,
    I was privileged to meet Darlene only once, and everything I see in you and in the descriptions of her reflect what a kind and caring person she is. I am saying “is” intentionally, because I know in my heart that when one leaves this earth, the soul that emerges into the other side continues on, most certainly without the burden of illness and perhaps much more joyously than we here on earth can understand.
    So there is no sadness for Darlene as she breaks free of this realm, but my heart goes out to each of the rest of her dear family and friends who will miss her terribly as each life unfolds on its own pathway.
    Today I am taking part in a conference about “Seeing as God Sees” for new thought ministers in western New Mexico, so I regret that I will be unable to attend the service or be there to help right now. I know the outpouring of love and caring that will take place tomorrow will be magnificent and I will be sending my love to all of you.
    Susan Moore

    Paris Brown
    10 Apr 2015

    Darlene and I have been co-workers for many years. It never failed that when I had a questions about work, she could always answer them. She had a great sense of humor and a great smile. Although we won’t see her in the flesh, she will always be remembered. Prayers to her family.

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