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Darlene Fields Pitts

Born on 2-16-1952. She was born in Chandler, Oklahoma.
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On February 16, 1952, Darlene Pitts was born in Florence Arizona. Her parents, Joe and Jessie Fields were Pima cotton farmers in Coolidge, Arizona. Six children were born to the couple. Joe and Jessie were divorced when Darlene was six months old. Her mother and grandmother raised Darlene. These ââ?¬Å?pioneerââ?¬ women raised their families through segregation, the great depression and integration.

Darleneââ?¬â?¢s life is characterized as being with Godââ?¬â?¢s direction because she has been a leader who opened doors for her people. Being the first daughter born to her family, Darlene set the pace for her younger sisters.

In 1968, at the young age of fifteen, Darlene was the first black to serve on the Gila Bend, Arizona Mayorââ?¬â?¢s Human Relations Committee. As a committee member, she advised the group on problems faced by economically and socially disadvantaged youth and how to overcome those problems.

In 1980, Darlene was the first Black employee to work on the start up team as a lab technician for Mobil Chemical Company, in Shawnee, Oklahoma. Having no experience or college degree, Darlene was hired based on recommendations from members of the 1968 Gila Bend Mayorââ?¬â?¢s Human Relations Committee.

In 1983, Darlene became the first Black Job Developer/Counselor for the Federal Job Training Program in Shawnee, Oklahoma.

In 1986, Darlene was the first Black appointed to the Shawnee School Board of Education. She was elected to her position for two subsequent terms. Darlene resigned her board seat and ten-year job as a job developer to open the Dunbar Education Center, an alternative school. Using her retirement and individual donations, Darlene successfully ran the school, helping 80% of her students return to regular public school. Darlene was awarded the Oklahoma Human Rights award for her work with the Dunbar Education Center.

Darlene continued her ââ?¬Å?door openingââ?¬ in Alamogordo New Mexico, where she worked with the Presbyterian Womenââ?¬â?¢s Programs. There she learned the Presbyterian womenââ?¬â?¢s groups supported the philosophies of two of her historical mentors, Mary Larney and Mary McLoud Bethune. Darlene became involved in supporting missions in Africa and Mexico. She was responsible for organizing and hosting the first Juneteeth celebration in her predominantly white congregation.

Darlene recently returned to her hometown of Chandler, Oklahoma where she is continuing to open doors. She is in the process of developing a program for the economically disadvantaged youth in her community. This young entrepreneurial program will introduce the youth to job and living skills, creating business to assist their local community, earning income, and saving for their future.

One of the most rewarding accomplishments of Darleneââ?¬â?¢s life is raising four wonderful, spiritually, successful adult children. Her oldest daughter Audra, is a nurseââ?¬â?¢s aide; son Bennie, is a line operator for Exxon/Mobil Corp.; daughter, Nekia is a United States Air Force Senior Airman and Bio-Environmental Specialist; and son Jaques, works with at risk children. Her eight wonderful grandchildren are another reward.

Darleneââ?¬â?¢s life is one of opening doors by serving God through empowering her people to complete their lifeââ?¬â?¢s destiny.