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Darlene Strilkauskas Hurtado 1959-2022

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.

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I love you so much. I am mortified about how the coming years will be without you grandma. I am so happy that you felt the ability to let go, and put yourself out of your misery. I know you fought and tried to stay awake but you deserved to feel able to let go. I hope I will see you again in another life, okay?

Yours, Aria


Dear Mario,

I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your wife. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.

With heartfelt sympathy,

Dawn Shea


Chantal, I am so sorry for the loss of your mother. I am thinking of you and your family during this difficult time. ❤️🙏🏻- your sophomore dorm parent, Virginia


Julie Alfone
Julie Alfone
Sep 24, 2022

My cousin Darlene, I will miss our talks ,your smile and so many other things. I can't remember a time it wasn't the 5 of us and the 7 of you.In Maine,or on a Sunday in your huge closet rehearsing a play for our parents to have to watch us. We had the most fun childhood. Those memories will live on forever so therefore so will you. I will love you and miss you forever,Your cousin Julie


My beautiful sister and friend😘❤️ - You were always true to yourself. I loved following you in life And learning from you. You will always be my daughters’ Godmother and my sister Angel. I will miss you always. Love Deborah. aka.. you’re crazy dancing 💃 sister. All my love forever and ever.. Rest In Peace and give dad a hug from me 🥹🥹💗🦋🙏🏻

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