Darla L. (Gilbert) Pickett

SKOWHEGAN – Darla L. (Gilbert) Pickett, 76, passed away on Dec. 14, 2021, in a single car motor vehicle accident. She led a courageous battle against COPD, asthma and emphysema, until the very end. She was one of the toughest ladies I have ever known and I will always cherish having 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 Anson Academy, class Valedictorian, in 1963. She began working as reporter and editor for the Somerset Reporter and then the Bangor Daily News. She spent most of her career as a City reporter for the Morning Sentinel, Bureau Chief of the Skowhegan Bureau of the Morning Sentinel and editor of special sections at the Sentinel from 1984 to 2018. She was still editing for the Morning Sentinel from home following retirement. She never lost her love for reporting. She was one of the most well-respected reporters of her time, never divulging anything she was asked not to. Anyone speaking to Darla knew that they could trust her with their deepest thoughts and comments and for that she was so very proud.Darla accomplished so many things in her lifetime: President of the Somerset business and communications; Woman of the Year, Somerset Presswomen, 1975; Chairman of the negotiating team, Newspaper Guild; Skowhegan Woman’s Club; President of the Friends of the Library for six years and a member for many more; Member of the Skowhegan Economic Development Corporation Board; Secretary, Vice chairman of the Cable Access Television Channel 11; Four-year selectwoman, Vice Chairman Skowhegan Selectmen; Served on the Communications Committee, Maine State Museum; Served as a member of the Skowhegan Budget & Finance Committee; Panelist and host of the Channel 11 talk show, “Keeping Pace”, Skowhegan Over the Decades; Acted in several plays at Lakewood Theater and various others; She interviewed so many during her many years of journalism, such as the late, great boxer Joe Frazier, as well as visiting Walker’s Point and interviewing George and Barbara Bush, to name only a few of her amazing life accomplishments.She was predeceased by her husband, James H. Pickett, her parents, Clifford S. Gilbert and Althea M. Gilbert, her 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 husband Aaron Crocker, her great grandchildren Makenzie J. Tuttle, Camilla J. S. Dow, Riley Crocker, Brady Crocker and by her nieces and nephews Kimberly DePatsy and her children Hayden and Mason Farr, as well as her husband Dominic DePatsy, Duane Gilbert Jr. and his daughter Logan Gilbert, Angela Stockdale and her daughter Bella and Josh Stockdale, and several other deeply loved family members. She held a special place in the hearts of so many of her dear and closest friends, Betty (Austin) Frederic, Debbie Packard, Donna Finley, Susan Varney, Mary Cayford, Susan Millett, Evalyn Bowman, and numerous others. As her daughter, I can never thank you all enough for the many visits, calls, texts and overwhelming care and love that you gave to Darla. The words “thank you” will never be enough.A special thank you to Wendy Dicranian, my mother’s Family Nurse Practitioner. She went above and beyond, even making house calls, the last one on the day before she passed away. You will never know what that meant to her. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.Arrangements are under the care and direction Smart & Edwards Funeral Home, http://www.SmartandEdwardsFH.comA church service to celebrate the life of Darla L. Pickett, has been scheduled for Monday, January 17, 2022, 11:00 AM at the Federated Church, 13 Island Avenue, Skowhegan, Maine. A graveside service will be held in the spring at Southside Cemetery.In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Lakewood Theater, P.O. Box 331, Skowhegan, ME 04976. 

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