SKOWHEGAN – Darla L. (Gilbert) Pickett, 76, died on December 14, 2021 in a one-car crash. She fought a courageous fight against COPD, asthma and emphysema, to the end. She was one of the toughest women I have ever known and I will always cherish the pleasure of calling her my mom. She was born on March 12, 1945 in Portland, Maine, to Althea Mae (Patchell) Gilbert and Clifford Stewart Gilbert. She graduated from Anson Academy, Class Major, in 1963. She began working as a reporter and editor for the Somerset Reporter and later the Bangor Daily News. She spent most of her career as the town reporter for the Morning Sentinel, bureau chief of the Skowhegan bureau of the Morning Sentinel, and special sections editor at the Sentinel from 1984 to 2018. She was still working on it. edit for the Morning Sentinel from home after retirement. . She never lost her love for reporting. She was one of the most respected journalists of her time, never disclosing anything she was asked not to do. Everyone who spoke to Darla knew that they could trust her with their deepest thoughts and comments and for that she was very proud. Darla has accomplished so much in her life: President of Business and Communications for Somerset; Woman of the Year, Somerset Presswomen, 1975; Chairman of the Bargaining Team, Newspaper Guild; the Skowhegan Women’s Club; President of the Friends of the Library for six years and a member for many others; member of the board of directors of the Skowhegan Economic Development Corporation; secretary, vice-president of the access cable television channel 11; Four-year-old Selectwoman, Vice-President Skowhegan Selectmen; Served on the communications committee, Maine State Museum; Was a member of the Skowhegan Budget and Finance Committee; Panelist and host of the Channel 11 talk show, “Keeping Pace,” Skowhegan Over the Decades; Performed in several plays at the Lakewood Theater and several others; She has interviewed so many over her many years in journalism, such as the late and great boxer Joe Frazier, as well as visiting Walker’s Point and interviewing George and Barbara Bush, to name just a few of her incredible accomplishments. She was predeceased by her. husband, James H. Pickett, parents, Clifford S. Gilbert and Althea M. Gilbert, daughter Lori J. (Pickett) Hayden and grandson, Dustin L. Tuttle. Darla is survived by her daughter, Trisha L Austin and her husband Harvey Austin, her brother Duane L. Gilbert, her grandchildren Kaleb L. Austin, Lexie Crocker and her husband Aaron Crocker, her great grandchildren Makenzie J. Tuttle, Camilla JS Dow, Riley Crocker , Brady Crocker and her nieces and nephews Kimberly DePatsy and her children Hayden and Mason Farr, as well as her husband Dominic DePatsy, Duane Gilbert Jr. and her daughter Logan Gilbert, Angela Stockdale and her daughter Bella and Josh Stockdale, and several other members of deeply loved family. She held a special place in the hearts of so many of her dearest and closest friends, Betty (Austin) Frederic, Debbie Packard, Donna Finley, Susan Varney, Mary Cayford, Susan Millett, Evalyn Bowman and many more. As her daughter, I can never thank you enough for the many visits, calls, texts and the immense care and love you have given Darla. The words “thank you” will never be enough. Special thanks to Wendy Dicranian, my mother’s family nurse practitioner. She went above and beyond, even making house calls, the last one the day before her death. You’ll never know what that meant to her. Thank you from the heart. Arrangements are the responsibility and management of Smart & Edwards Funeral Home, http://www.SmartandEdwardsFH.com A church service to celebrate the life of Darla L. Pickett is scheduled for Monday January. 17, 2022, 11:00 a.m. at the Federated Church, 13 Island Avenue, Skowhegan, Maine. A funeral service will be held in the spring at Southside Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Lakewood Theater, PO Box 331, Skowhegan, ME 04976.
Obituary: Elaine Robinson Collins