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Darren M. Paquin, age 77, of Elwood, passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, December 12, 2018 at St. Vincent Mercy Hospital.
Darren was born on June 14, 1941 in Michigan City, IN to the late William and Evelyn (Dadlow) Weber.
Darren married Gordon Paquin on August 20, 1966. They have shared 52 years of marriage together.
Darren loved high school and became well known as a singer in Michigan City. Once she even sang a duet with Bobby Vinton. Her perky cuteness and singing talent earned her first runner-up in the Miss LaPorte County contest. Darren graduated from Issac C. Elston High School, then went on to attend Ball State University where she earned her Bachelors Degree in teaching. While at college she was nominated as a Homecoming Queen candidate. Darren obtained her Masters Degree in education from Indiana University. She was an outstanding English teacher and mentor to many students throughout her 32 years of teaching, making an impact on thousands of students. She began student teaching at Middletown High School, then was a teacher at Shenandoah High School, Crown Point High School and Lowell High School, and Justice Middle School in Marion. Darren and Gordon moved to Elwood in 1980, and she began her last leg of her teaching career at Elwood Community High School in 1982, where she would end her teaching career in 2003. She taught English, advanced composition ,speech, and yearbook. Her advanced composition class allowed students to earn dual credit for high school and college credit at Indiana University. In the years of Project XL in Indiana, she regularly had state finalists in the speech category. One year Darren had three of the top ten finalists, an almost unheard of occurence. Darren had a state champion one year, an accomplishment she was very proud of.
Darren was equally outstanding as a friend, spouse, loving mother and devoted grandmother and great-grandmother. Darren's will to live was evident. She was strong and a true fighter as she battled through receiving a pacemaker, an AICD (defibrillator), and 2 heart transplants, being the first patient in Indiana to receive 2 hearts, and would eventually receive a kidney transplant from a former student. Through the generosity of selfless otgan donation, Darren was gifted with an additional 26 years of life after receiving her first transplant in 1992.
Darren supported the community by serving on the YMCA board, was a former member of Tri Kappa Sorority, was a member of the United Methodist Church and the Elwood Community Teachers Association.
Darren loved spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren and great grandson. She enjoyed entertaining, loved traveling, was passionate about her pet boxers. Darren's infectious personality, welcoming smile and zest for life are but a few of her traits for which she will be remembered.
She will be missed by many, many people!
Darren is survived by her loving husband, of 52 years, Gordon Paquin of Elwood, Indiana, daughter, Dawn Paquin of Lake Tomahawk, WI, son, Derek and wife Holly Paquin of Fishers, IN., granddaughter Loren Swearingen-Schmidt, grandson, Collin Paquin , granddaughter, Addison Paquin, great-grandson, Liam Schmidt, brother, William and wife Kathy Weber of Michigan City, IN and many nieces and nephews.
Celebration of life honoring Darren will be held on Monday, December 17, 2018 at Dunnichay Funeral Home, 1113 S. Anderson Street, Elwood, IN. at 11:00 a.m. with Rev. Doug Bohall officiating.
Visitation for family and friends will be Sunday, December 16, 2018, 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm, at Dunnichay Funeral Home, 1113 S. Anderson Street, Elwood, IN.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made through the funeral home to the American Heart Association or the Indiana Donor Network.
Online condolences can be given at www.dunnichayfuneralhome.com