Winter Texan honored with memorial portrait on Donate Life float in 2013 Rose Parade

Tissue donor’s husband to complete floragraph at Wednesday, Dec. 5, event in Edinburg

In honor of tissue donor and winter Texan Darlene Uecker, Allograft Resources, which is a division of the School of Medicine of the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, is hosting an event in Edinburg on Wednesday, Dec. 5, to finalize the decorating of a memorial floragraph portrait. The floragraph will travel with her family to Pasadena, Calif., to be displayed on the Donate Life Rose Parade Float “Journeys of the Heart” on Jan. 1, 2013.

At the 1 to 2:30 p.m. ceremony, Don Uecker, Darlene’s husband, will put the finishing touches on the memorial floragraph, which is a portrait adorned with grains, flowers, seeds, spices and other organic materials. Darlene’s floragraph will be one of 72 floral portraits on the Donate Life float. The float honors the lives of organ and tissue donors and the decision they made to give the gift of life by donating their organs, tissues or corneas.

In 2011, the Ueckers, who are residents of Wisconsin, were spending the winter in Alamo, Texas. Darlene Uecker, 74, suffered a cerebral aneurysm and died at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance in Edinburg.

For 24 years, Darlene Uecker worked on the manufacturing of implants in Medtronic’s health division. As the recipient of three pacemakers, she learned how the devices worked and knew that implantable devices could improve health and save lives. That knowledge led to her decision to register as a donor.

Darlene Uecker was a loving, caring person; she was always there to lend a helping hand or share a tasty dish. Along with her down-to-earth humor and common sense, she had a great laugh and looked for the good in people.

A believer in guardian angels, Darlene Uecker had angels in every room of two houses and both cars. The family now believes she is their guardian angel.

Her husband said, “I think Darlene’s decision was her way of keeping guardian angels around us. Darlene gave the greatest gift of all – a piece of herself to live on in others.”

Through her gift, Darlene Uecker saved and enhanced the lives of more than 40 people in 18 states. Her gift of cornea donation resulted in a cornea transplant to restore sight. More than 28,000 lives are saved each year in the United States through the gift of organ donation. This decision gives hope to more than 110,000 people awaiting a lifesaving organ transplant.

Bacterin International, Inc. is the sponsor of the floragraph and the Uecker family’s trip to view the Rose Parade. Bacterin International, Inc. manufactures and markets biologics products.

Allograft Resources – a division of the School of Medicine of the UT Health Science Center San Antonio – supports local and national tissue donation, procurement and distribution needs. The organization offers bereavement services, such as support groups and memorial events, to donor families and the general public. For more information about Allograft Resources and tissue donation, call 956-365-8680 and visit

NOTE: The ceremony is scheduled from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5, in The Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance in the Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, 118 Paseo del Prado. On-site contact is Michelle Ramirez, bereavement coordinator for Allograft Resources.


The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country’s leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 3 percent of all institutions worldwide receiving federal funding. Research and other sponsored program activity totaled $231 million in fiscal year 2011. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced approximately 28,000 graduates. The $736 million operating budget supports eight campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit

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