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Darlene Florence (Long) Skelton

Darlene Florence (Long) Skelton, 80, passed away peacefully on July 8, 2023 after a courageous battle with cancer.  She was born June 12, 1943 in Worland, Wyoming, the third of four girls born to Russell Edwin and Irene Myra (Walker) Long. She grew up in Thermopolis and later in Billings, Montana.

Darlene married Jesse Hernandez on May 19, 1962. Together, they had a loving union and two children in this marriage, Sheldon and Stephanie Hernandez. Darlene was widowed in July of 1971. She then married James Robert Skelton on August 25,1972.

Darlene was tenacious and yet kind, firm but gentle, and loved Christ, her family, and friends with her entire being.  She grew up feeding lambs and adventuring the wilds of Copper Mountain with her sisters. She delighted in the whisper of the wind through the aspens and the smell of sage in the spring. She enjoyed love and family with Jesse until he was taken all too soon.  Her joy of family continued with her farming and ranching with Jim and sharing the land she took pleasure in. Later in her life she returned to college and became a registered nurse. Darlene enjoyed nursing and had a heart for people, exhibiting Christ's tenderness through her work. In her retirement she soaked in her grandchildren and enjoyed traveling, places that she had only previously dreamt of. Sharing these memories with family was her great happiness. She filled her spare time with reading, passing her cooking and card skills on to her grandchildren, and beating everyone that dared at checkers. She had a laughter and love to her that will linger forever in our memories. Darlene had compassion for others that was evident throughout her life and although there were hardships she persevered and never forfeited her love and joy.  

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Jesse Hernandez, sisters, Esther Ann Pebbles and Faye VanAntwerp.

Survivors include her husband James Robert Skelton; sons: Mark Hartman of Tucson, Arizona, Sheldon (Jean) Skelton, Sherman (Hallie) Skelton all of Thermopolis, Wyoming; daughters: Stephanie Georgius of Glenrock, Wyoming, Samantha Skelton of Thermopolis, Wyoming; sister, Delores Burrows of Thermopolis; 14 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.

Graveside services were held Monday, July 10 at Riverside Cemetery in Thermopolis. A Celebration of Life will be held July 29, at 11am at First Baptist Church. Memorial donations may be made to Samaritan's Purse. Online condolences may be made at


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