Darlene Swanson Malmo was born in Minneota, Minnesota. After high school, she enrolled at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., where she received her bachelor’s degree in education. She went on to marry Richard (Dick) Malmo from Duluth.
After teaching for one year in Duluth, she moved to Washington, where her husband was stationed in the Army. Two years and one child later, Dick was discharged and worked as a pharmacist for Des Moines Drug, a store they eventually bought.
Darlene and Dick planted roots in Des Moines, where they became actively involved in Grace Lutheran Church. Darlene led choirs, wrote play scripts, and penned articles, many of which went on to be published in the church literature.
Darlene and Dick have four children, nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. They currently reside at Judson Park in Des Moines, which has a writing group that meets weekly.