In Memoriam: Darlene Barndt

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Tuesday, January 9, 2018


Darlene Barndt, Assistant Payroll Manager, passed away in December 2017.


Darlene came to Lehigh 15 years ago. Her colleagues in the Controller’s Office described her as the “heart and soul” of the Payroll Department.  They added:


She was a very hard worker and motivated the entire staff to work hard and get the job done.  She was an excellent supervisor and taught her staff so much.  You could talk to Darlene about anything, and she was always willing to listen and help anyone with their issues or problems.  The Payroll Office has to maintain high levels of accuracy under very tight deadlines, and she was always willing to pitch in and help her staff however she could.  No matter what issue arose, she always kept her sense of humor and a positive attitude.  She was always a problem solver. 


She had a wonderful personality, was well liked by everyone, and will be greatly missed.  Even during her final illness when she was very sick, Darlene found ways to support her staff when they had difficulties in their personal lives, that’s the kind of person she was.


She was incredibly dedicated to Lehigh.  They may not realize it, but every student, staff and faculty member at Lehigh benefited from her dedication to making sure the payroll was accurate and deadlines weren’t missed.


She enjoyed her job and coworkers.  She truly loved just coming into the office every day.  We’ll all miss her sense of humor, work ethic and leadership.  She appreciated the simple things in life and enjoyed the company of everyone around her.  She had contagious laughter. Sometimes she’d laugh so hard she couldn’t get the story out, and of course she’d have the entire room laughing along.   She had great love for her family and her dogs and shared many stories with us, we felt like they were part of our family too.


Kathleen Ortt Folenta, Business Manager in The Center for Career and Professional Development spoke for many Lehigh employees in expressing her condolences. “Darlene helped me on many occasions; especially with tax discrepancies in my portion of graduate tuition for my daughter,” she said. “She will be fondly remembered for her patience and perseverance.” 


A memorial service is expected, but a date has not yet been set.