An active member of the Bass Lake community for more than 30 years, Jeannine Marie Cuadra Lynch Darnell, 85, passed away Nov. 19, following a lengthy illness. She was born March 5, 1930, in Homewood, Kansas, the fourth of seven children.
She received many honors and awards, including the County Golden Apple from the Madera County Office of Education, Golden Chain Theatre, and Angel Amongst Us.
During the years that her husband Don was the Madera County District 5 Supervisor, she was an advocate for county growth and programs. When Bass Lake homeowners learned of an opportunity to purchase the PG&E lease land their homes were on, her research aided community members with the purchase of the land their houses sat on. When the Bass Lake Homeowner’s Association wanted a full Community Service District in Bass Lake, she assisted in making that happen.
For fun she attended a clown school to become a professional clown for children’s birthday parties and Bass Lake Elementary School events. A clown never reveals her/his identity, but spreads “clown cheer”so when her identity became known, Pee-Wee retired.
She volunteered countless hours at Bass Lake Elementary School, spending time at the school almost every day in the 1980s serving lunch, and assisting in classrooms as needed. Once a year, she financed, prepared, and served a taco salad dinner as a fundraiser for the school.
For many years, she was the resident set designer for the Golden Chain Theatre, designing and painting many sets for the Oakhurst all-volunteer theatre, and served on the GCT Board of Directors.
When her only son died in 2015, she received an insurance benefit and used the money to assist a number of Mountain Area groups, remaining anonymous until now. She gave all the money away, in memory of her son. Recipients were Madera County Sheriff-COPS, Sheriff’s K-9 unit, Friends of the Library, Sierra Mono Museum, Boys and Girls Club, Sierra Oakhurst Lions Club, Sierra Historic Sites Association and Animal Rescue.