David Loren Darnell, 81, of Vestavia Hills AL, passed away on October 17, 2020. He will be remembered for his quick wit, his infectious laugh, his genuine smile and his ability to bring out the best in every person that he met. Dave passed away after a short battle with cancer. On his final days he was surrounded by his loving wife and his “girls” whom he adored more than anything in the world. Born in McBain, Michigan to Donald and Edith Darnell, Dave grew up and graduated from McBain High School with his three brothers, Donald, James (Bud), and Robert. Dave attended Central Michigan University where he met and married the woman of his dreams. After college he began his career with General Motors starting at Pontiac Motor Division. He quickly became an Executive with the company, working most of his 33 years in Personnel. Once he retired he split his time between Fairhope, Alabama, and the shores of Mullett Lake in Cheboygan, Michigan. Not only was Dave a kind and loving husband to his wife Judi (Kretzschmer) for 59 years, he was also an amazing father to his 3 daughters, Debbie (Eric) Fier, Sue (Don) Kessel, and Betsy (Steve) Hewett and a devoted Papa to his grandchildren Megan, Sergei, Zachary, Aidan and Dominic. He led an impactful life as he served on the School Board, coached Little League ball teams, volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Thomas Hospital. He was a support and advisor for many and spent time mentoring with South Alabama SCORE. He was a proud Rotarian and served as President for his Cheboygan club. He looked forward to assisting with the Fairhope Rotary Steak Cook-off each year and truly enjoyed his time tutoring after school kids with the Fairhope-Point Clear Rotary Youth Club. Dave traveled to Honduras on several mission trips to install water systems and fit hearing aids and he organized more than one mission project for orphanages in Russia. Dave was a legend. A humble man of love, strength and encouragement to so many. In life and now in death he would not want us to focus on the sadness and sorrow but to continue to love and support each other.
The family will hold a private celebration of his life on Mullett Lake this summer and asks that any donations in Dave’s name go to Fairhope-Point Clear Rotary Youth Club, 19128 Young Street, Fairhope Alabama, 36532, (251)928-9148.