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Arlene B. Darger, former counselor in LDS YW presidency, dies at 88

Published: Wednesday, May 28 2014 7:15 p.m. MDT

Betty Jo Reiser, left, and Arlene Darger. Sister Arlene B. Darger, first counselor in the general Young Women presidency of the LDS Church from 1978-84 and a former member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, died May 22 at age 88. She passed away 15 days after her husband.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

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SALT LAKE CITY — Sister Arlene Barlow Darger, who served as a counselor in the general Young Women presidency of the LDS Church for six years, died May 22 at age 88.

Sister Darger passed away 15 days after her husband, Stanford Darger, who was 93. His funeral was postponed because of her poor health. A joint funeral is scheduled on Friday.

Sister Darger served as the first counselor to Sister Elaine A. Cannon in the Young Women presidency from 1978 to 1984, traveling the world to meet with and support the 12- to 18-year-old young women of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Sister Darger also served as a volunteer member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for 10 years, drawing on the musical talent that led the Juilliard School of Music to offer her a position after she graduated from East High School, according to her obituary.

Sister Darger turned down that offer to marry Stanford Darger, and they raised five children. They had 20 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren at the time of their deaths.

Stanford Darger served five terms in the Utah Legislature, where he was the majority whip, according to his obituary. He also spent 17 years as the business manager of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, owned Darger Ford in Magna, spent 17 years as an executive with the Salt Lake area Chamber of Commerce and 12 years as senior vice president of Valley Bank and Trust.

He died on May 7.

Sister Darger returned to education later in life and earned a degree in psychology at the University of Utah, which later honored her as a distinguished alumnus.

She served on the board of trustees of the Gina Bachauer International Piano Foundation.

After she served an LDS Church mission with her husband in Frankfurt, Germany, they returned to open and operate the ZCMI store at This is the Place State Park for 10 years.

The joint funeral will be held at the Monument Park 17th Ward Chapel, 2795 E. Crestview Drive in Salt Lake City, on Friday, May 30, 2014, at 1 p.m. Viewings are scheduled at Sunset Lawn Mortuary, 2350 E.1300 So. on Thursday, May 29, from 6 to 8 p.m. and Friday from 12 to 12:45 p.m. at the church.

Interment will follow the funeral at Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park, 3401 S. Highland Dr.

Email: twalch@deseretnews.com

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