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Darla Brown, 54, loved dogs, puzzles and babies
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Darla Brown, 54, loved dogs, puzzles and babies

From the Iowa Mourns: Around the state series
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Darla Brown loved dogs.

"A great joy of hers was getting to visit the dogs at family members' homes," her obituary reads.

When she wasn't playing with one of her furry friends, she enjoyed puzzles, books and babies, taking extra care to be gentle around newborns.

In late April, Darla, 54, who had an intellectual disability and lived in a group home, tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Just four days after her positive test result, Darla was transferred to a Sioux City hospital. She was placed on a ventilator about 30 minutes after her arrival and died from COVID-19 on May 11.

Born in 1965 in Cherokee, Darla was one of six children in the Brown family.

A happy person, Darla attended public school until she was 21, graduating in 1987 from a special-education program at Woodbury Central High School. Since then, she lived in a Sioux City group home, where her parents, Lloyd and Elaine Brown, say she was content.

The Browns were heartened when their daughter's name and some brief information from her obituary appeared in a New York Times article in May recognizing the first 100,000 people who had died from COVID-19 in the United States.

Lloyd and Elaine's grief over their daughter's death was compounded by their inability to visit her in person due to COVID-19 restrictions, they said. They were allowed to say goodbye in the final hours of her life as medical staff removed her from the ventilator.

“That was the hardest part," Elaine said. "Not being able to be there for her."


Iowa Mourns is a series of remembrances about Iowans who lost their lives to COVID-19 during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. If you've lost a loved one to COVID-19 in Iowa, let us know by filling out the form or emailing Iowa Columnist Courtney Crowder at ccrowder@dmreg.com.

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