91, of Chesterton, formerly of Lafayette, IN, passed away Monday, September
He was born June
18, 1926 in Rushville, IN, to Belfield and Nora (Jackson) Darnell.
He graduated from
Rushville High School where he excelled in track, despite the fact that in
his youth he had contracted and survived rheumatic fever. He also became an
accomplished jazz band bass player. In 1944 Charles enlisted in the US Navy
and served as a crew member on LST 1046. Charles’ ship served in the Pacific
theater, and he took part in the invasion of Okinawa. Following the war, he,
on LST 1046, transported men and material between the Japanese home islands
and China. In 1946 his ship was decommissioned and he returned to civilian
life. He had a love of flying, earned his private pilot license and became
an avid flyer of radio controlled planes.
In 1950 he married
Geraldine Seeley Burbridge.
their children Christy (Dennis) Gonzalez of NY, Candy (Dave) Johnson of
Linton, IN, and Craig (Gina) Darnell of Chesterton, IN. Also surviving are
his three grandchildren Thomas and Nick Darnell of Chesterton, Dana Nieves,
and great-granddaughter Hannah Nieves, both of Portage.
In 1978 he married
Florence Hensen. He is also survived by brother Bill (Debbie) Darnell of
Tucson, AZ, and Mary Lee Darnell of Rushville, IN.
preceded in death by his parents, brothers Darwin and Glen Darnell, sister
Beverly Washburn, wives Geraldine and Florence, and best friend Don Rowe.
He was employed for
many years as an award winning salesman for GTE Yellow Pages. After his
retirement, he drove a school bus for the Lafayette school system into his
80’s. He enjoyed several years as a Floridian, until developing Alzheimer’s
and moved to Chesterton to be near family. His death came as the result of a
sudden illness but the Lord took him quickly and in his sleep.
There will be no
memorial services or visitation as his wishes were to be cremated and ashes
scattered on an airfield.