Obituaries detail

Vernona Darlene (Fiene) Spielbusch

Vernona Darlene Spielbusch (Fiene) passed away on July 30, 2020 after battling a year-long illness fiercely. She was a force to be reckoned with and a wonderful woman to all who knew her. She grew up in Concordia, MO as the oldest daughter of the late Vernon Fiene and the late Helen Tebbenkamp Fiene, who had 5 children together. She left Concordia 3 days after graduating from Concordia High School and went to Kansas City where she was a nanny. Soon after, she got a job at Linn Insurance Group, but she loved her 2nd job even more- she was a Bunny at The Playboy Club – Kansas City. She was very proud to be a part of such a small sorority of women who could call themselves Bunnies. She worked at Linn Insurance Group through name changes and location changes until she retired in 2004.


She met John “Jack” Spielbusch at The Levee in Westport. Jack immediately fell in love with her laugh. They married on July 10, 1971 and lived in Lenexa, KS their entire married life. Their first child was due in February 1973, and she said she was “going to have a girl on Valentine’s Day.” And so she did. No one ignored Darlene, not even Mother Nature. 


She had a wonderful life full of family, friends, annual vacations, summer nights at Starlight and a LOT of laughter. Her daughter, Amy, grew up, got married and had a son. That was when Darlene decided to retire from the company she had worked in for 44 years – so she could spend time with her wonderful, perfect grandson, Brady. In 2005, Dalton was born and she had double the fun and love! She and Jack absolutely loved those boys and the feeling was mutual. 


Retirement for Darlene was far from boring. She was able to work on all her hobbies that she was never able to before, like painting, crafting, redoing the upholstery on a couple of chairs (kinda), planting beautiful flowers in her backyard, more reading than ever and SHOPPING! She reconnected with her friends from high school and they started getting together on a regular basis. She had her “Party Friends” from work and they rotated houses to celebrate the big holidays and events each year. And she had her Bunco friends, and sometimes they even played Bunco. She spent time with her sisters, Barbara and Tootie and went to lunches with her uncles Chester and Doc. Jack & Dar went on weekend get-aways or 2 week road trips with Larry and Mary that were technically their nephew and niece, but were actually their best friends. Her life was full of fun and laughter, family and friends and whole lot of love. 


Darlene is survived by her husband Jack, daughter Amy and son-in-law Chip Gabbert. Grandsons Brady and Dalton. Sister Barbara (Steve) Leasure, brother Donnie (Rita) Fiene. She was preceded in death by her sister Florence “Tootie” (Larry “Weasel”) Wahlers and brother Robert Lee Fiene. There are countless nieces and nephews spanning multiple generations, too many to name, and she loved them all and truly enjoyed hearing about their lives. 


We have decided that for the safety of her family and friends, we will celebrate her life at a later date. Please feel free to comment below if you would like to be informed when that celebration takes place or check her Caring Bridge page for updates.




Lin and Steve Van Meter Aug 01 ,2020

Friend (party gang) ,Kansas City ,Missouri

Words can not describe how much we will miss Dar. Her laugh was the best! She loved to have fun and added so much to our lives. We’re so sorry for your loss. We were blessed to call her friend and she will always have a place in our hearts.

Barbara Leasure Aug 01 ,2020

Little Sister ,Independence ,Missouri

That’s a beautiful picture of a beautiful Sister. Rest in peace and love Darlene. I love you and will miss you forever! ❤️

Richard Gadwood Aug 02 ,2020

friend ,gravois mills ,Missouri

My good friend Jack so sorry to have heard of your loss may God be with you and your family.

Darlene Barry Aug 02 ,2020

Classmate of Jack ,Shawnee ,Kansas

Jack, I’m so sorry for your loss of Darlene. Know you are in my thoughts and prayers. Darlene Hofer Barry.

Gary Klusman Aug 02 ,2020

Nephew ,Lake Kiowa ,Texas

Dar was a totally awesome person and people loved to be around her. We will all miss her. Prayers for the entire family.

Bonnie Klein Aug 02 ,2020

Friend and co-worker ,Roeland Park ,Kansas

I met Darlene at Lynn Insurance Group in the early 70's and immediately became friends. We had lunch together at work every day for many years and she was always a very caring and supportive friend who I will miss dearly. Jack, I am so very sorry for your loss. My love to all of the family.

Gladys Stauffer Aug 03 ,2020

Work friend ,Independence ,Missouri

Darlene and I worked for Universal Underwriters for about the same number of years. I remember her Playboy bunny years We enjoyed greeting and talking at semi annual gatherings of retirees. My sincere condolences to her family. I know you will miss her infectious laugh and smile

Debbie Taylor Aug 03 ,2020


I knew Darlene through work at UUG. I loved her smile; her laugh; her kindness. Sympathy to her loved-ones!

Sharon curtin Aug 03 ,2020

Neighbor ,Lenexa ,Kansas

Oh what a loss of a wonderful lady, neighbor and friend. I have a true emptiess in my heart but will hear her wonderful laugh forever. For the family, please accept my sincerest sympathy. Bob and my thoughts are with you at this time. Sharon

Carol Hartegan Aug 03 ,2020

Friend ,Lenexa ,Kansas

I'm so glad that I can say that I knew Dar and her husband Jack. Even if it was an occasional visit, I felt better after chatting with them. May Dar rest in peace. Amen. Carol Hartegan

Diane Hadel Aug 03 ,2020

Co-worker ,Raymore ,Missouri

I enjoyed working with Darlene at Universal Underwriters for 24 of her 44 years. I remember her signing all those annual statements and wondering if she wished her name were shorter. I admired her poise and professionalism and enjoyed her laughter. I will not forget her.

Mrs. Patty Briscoe Aug 03 ,2020

Friend & Co-Worker ,Kansas City ,Missouri

Worked with Darlene for many years at Lynn Insurance/universal Underwriters/Zurich before we retired. She was always so friendly with a beautiful smile and a pleasant attitude. So sorry to hear of her illness and passing. I know she will be dearly missed by her family & friends. Your in my thoughts & prayers. Patty Briscoe

Kathie Strentz Aug 03 ,2020

Co-worker ,Overland Park ,Kansas

I worked with Darlene at UUG when I was in the Accounting Department. She was always so pleasant and I enjoyed working with her. I can still remember her smile and her laugh. My condolences to her family.

Martha Lindsey Aug 05 ,2020

Coworker ,Overland Park ,Kansas

I’ll never forget her smile that always put me at ease. I was a frightened 18 year old girl when I started at Lynn Insurance. Darlene was a sweet lady.