To honor their outstanding life and show appreciation for all the young women and men they have served, the headquarters of the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute is named the Dr. Elliott and Darla Partridge Center.
Darla grew up in Northeast Ohio and met Elliott Partridge (“Doc”) at Drake University Hospital. She was a nurse in training and he was working his way through Drake University as a laboratory technician at the hospital. They married in June of 1960.
Darla finished nursing training at Iowa Methodist Hospital receiving a special award for pediatric education. She worked as a nurse while Doc worked his way through the University of Iowa medical school.
In 1966, Doc volunteered for the Air Force and moved the family to Langley, Virginia where he served his country as an Air Force doctor. In 1968 Darla, Doc and the children moved back to the Midwest — Eldorado, Illinois — a place they have called home for the last 30 years.
Darla is a history teacher at Equality Christian Center School. She plans to continue to teach so long as she feels love for the children and is physically able to help.
The Partridges regularly make trips to Mexico to treat the inhabitants of Cardboard City — a community near the Texas border where many Mexicans live in cardboard boxes to be near factory jobs. While there, as doctor and nurse, the Partridges donate medical treatment to as many Mexican families as possible, helped by what Darla says is God’s gift to Doc of “a nose for quick diagnosis.”
Darla believes the state of women is in shambles today. “Women have been deceived, duped, robbed, and cheated by some false sense of freedom. My role models in life have been my mother and my many friends who have lived good lives, handled difficult situations, and stayed faithful to their husbands. Those are models for life.”
Though she wasn’t from a church family, she was saved at 29 years old and believes that her faith in Christ has made a great deal of difference in her life, holding her home together and allowing for the fullness of life.
Darla and Doc live in Illinois. They have six children.