On Tuesday, September 20th, 2022, Darlene Strilkauskas Hurtado passed away. She was born on February 25th, 1959 to Emory and Doris Strilkauskas and was raised with her six siblings in Terryville, Connecticut. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Connecticut and her Master’s Degree from Antioch University.
In 1981, Darlene took a semester trip to Mexico City to learn Spanish and experience a new culture. This first adventure led to her greatest adventure: finding her true love, Mario, and creating their family. In Mexico, she embraced another culture and family that she loved and who loved her. On March 18th, 1982, Darlene and Mario married. Together they raised two daughters, Makenzi and Chantal. They have four grandchildren: Laelle, Aria, Izel, and Xolani. Darlene was a fantastic mother, partner, sister, grandmother, and friend.
Darlene’s career was dedicated to the advancement of children, women, literacy, and the protection and support of people at risk. Her passion was helping families to improve their lives through creative solutions and collaborations. Darlene endeavored to make her work an extension of her personal beliefs. She worked for many nonprofit organizations including Planned Parenthood, Women in Crisis, Department of Social Services, the YWCA, the YMCA, The Family Center of Bristol, Literacy Volunteers of Central Connecticut, Madonna Place, and New Britain Foundation. Her proudest accomplishments included being a cofounder of the Imagine Nation Museum and a cofounder of Central CT Family Literacy Center.
Darlene was a fierce advocate for imagination, creativity, and peace. She was a lover of art, the beach, dancing, good food, crossfit, and Mexico. On her happiest days, you could find Darlene dancing with husband, getting lost on a trail, sipping a Sambuca con mosca, surrounded by women, or in a tree pose. She laughed easily, listened intently, and challenged you when you needed it.
An outdoor memorial service will be held at Camp Jewell YMCA in Colebrook, Connecticut on October 15th at 10am. The family asks that you wear purple in remembrance of Darlene.
In lieu of flowers, help Darlene raise money one more time by making a donation to Literacy Volunteers of Central Connecticut, Camp Jewell YMCA, or Planned Parenthood.