Darlene R. Sokol, 71; teacher, educational program consultant

Darlene R. Sokol

BY ROBERT A. COHN, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus

Darlene R. Sokol, a retired teacher, educational consultant and program developer for the Pattonville schools, died Monday, Feb. 17, at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital, after a short struggle with bile duct cancer. She was 71 and lived in Creve Coeur.

Mrs. Sokol was a native of St. Louis, and was the daughter of the late Joseph and Rose Wise. She received her bachelor of arts degree in elementary education from Washington University in 1975, and a master’s degree in communications from Webster University in 1976.

She taught as an elementary and gifted education teacher in Pattonville for 33 years while serving as a consultant for multiple regional and national organizations.

Mrs. Sokol was an educational consultant in computer education for IBM, a teacher consultant for the Missouri Geographical Alliance through the National Geographic Society and received the Pride of Pattonville Award. She also developed the curriculum used in St. Louis for the “A World of Difference” program, which is affiliated with the Anti-Defamation League of Missouri and Southern-Illinois. She facilitated training workshops, for which she received both a community service award and a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship to study education in China. She also completed the Women in Leadership Coro Program.

After her formal retirement in 2002, Mrs. Sokol remained an active consultant, mentor and leader in the educational community, working for the Missouri Department of Education and retaining leadership roles in Delta Kappa Gamma, the American Association of University Women, the board of directors of the Program for the Exceptionally Gifted and the Pattonville Association of Retired Teachers.

Mrs. Sokol was an active volunteer for organizations and other causes, including the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission, the Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC), the Humane Society and as a campaign volunteer for Missouri State Rep. Jill Schupp.

She was the wife of the late Alvin P. Sokol. She was the mother and mother-in-law of Lawrence (Marianne) Schultz and Jodi (David) Portnoy and stepmother of Sharon (Richard Lesses) Sokol and Deborah Schorzman.

A funeral service was held Wednesday, Feb. 19 at Congregation Shaare Emeth, followed by interment at the Beth Hamedrosh Hagodol Cemetery, 9125 Ladue Road. 

Contributions are preferred to the Eastern Missouri Chapter of the American Cancer Society or the BJC Hospice.