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.




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