Cover photo for Sylvia Darlene (Dar) Schenck's Obituary
Sylvia Darlene (Dar) Schenck Profile Photo

Sylvia Darlene (Dar) Schenck

August 7, 1940 — January 6, 2023


Sylvia Darlene (Dar) Schenck

Sylvia Darlene (Dar) Schenck, 82, of Portage, MI, passed away peacefully on January 6, 2023 at Rose Arbor hospice in Kalamazoo, MI.  Always a Hoosier at heart, Dar was born in Warsaw, IN on August 7, 1940 to parents Francis Marion (John) Hill and Grace Christine Hill (née Motts).  Dar grew up in Mishawaka, IN. In 1958, she proudly graduated from Mishawaka High School where her father was a renowned teacher and track coach.


Dar’s passion for learning was a constant throughout her professional and personal life. She graduated from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI with a B.A. and M.A. in Education.  Dar met Lyle Arthur Schenck in Kalamazoo on a blind date arranged by close friends. This first date in 1966 was the beginning of a beautiful life-long romance which culminated in 56 devoted years of marriage.


For their honeymoon, Dar and Lyle embarked on the first of many travel adventures, spending an entire summer traveling throughout the western U.S. in a blue Falcon station wagon.  Ultimately, Dar visited 48 states (including Hawaii and Alaska) as well as the Panama Canal twice.  Dar and Lyle often travelled in their small RV they nicknamed “The Buggy.” Dar loved to recollect the many road trips to visit friends and family as well as to attend events like Michigan State University football games to listen to the band at half time.


While for many decades Dar experienced complicated health conditions, she lived a rich and meaningful life with deep friendships.  She cherished her friends from Mishawaka High School, Davis Hall at WMU, Lamplighters, multiple book clubs, Roads Scholars, the Westwood and Oakview neighborhoods, Chuck Jaqua Realtors, and teachers from her years as an educator.  She loved to host parties at her home in Portage, MI for students from her English as a Second Language classes, canasta groups, and friends from her wide network.  


Dar was a devoted mother to Laura O’Donnell (née Schenck) (Dallas, TX), Linda Hodgins (née Schenck) (Grandville, MI) and Kevin Schenck (St. Clair Shores, MI).  She was a proud grandmother to Riley and Connor O’Donnell, Carson and Taylor Hodgins, and Desiree, Abraham, and Levi Schenck, the seven of whom range from 20 years old to 10 months old.  


The family requests that in lieu of a funeral, Dar’s loved ones consider a donation to the First Methodist Church of Kalamazoo, MI; Casco United Methodist Church of South Haven, MI; or Rose Arbor hospice in Kalamazoo, MI.  Her family would like to thank all of the wonderful staff at Rose Arbor hospice for their compassionate care.  To honor Dar, a celebration of life is being planned on August 3, 2023 in South Haven, MI a place with many special memories for Dar and her family.  More details to follow in the coming weeks.

While visiting Dar's webpage at please sign the guestbook by lighting a candle, and/or sharing a memory with the family. The family is being cared for by the Avink, McCowen & Secord Funeral Home, Portage Chapel, 5975 Lovers Lane, Portage, MI. (269) 344-5600.


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