Richard Darnill

Richard Darnill, age 89 of River Falls, WI, passed away August 19, 2020 at the Kinnic Health and Rehab.  “Dick” was born September 9, 1930 in Stockton, IL to Marjorie (Fiedler) and Neil Darnill.  He had two younger brothers, John and Robert (who died as an infant).  As a child he had a bedroom full of gas engine powered model airplanes, loved watching boxer Joe Lewis and wanted to become a basketball coach.  He worked summer jobs in a grocery store, a paperboy, delivering milk, and working as a mason’s helper.

At the age of 17, Dick enrolled at Platteville Teacher’s College, where he met his wife Barbara Bolender and received his Bachelor of Education Degree.  Dick and Barb married October 2, 1953 at Camp Stoneman in Pittsburg, CA.  Dick served in the US Army in Japan and Korea as a radar repairman.  While in Korea he contacted UW Madison and was admitted to their graduate school program.  When he returned from Korea they lived near LaRose, IL where he taught Vocational Agriculture and Biology.  Dick and Barb also taught at the Racine County Agricultural School in Racine, WI.

Dick received his Master of Education Degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.  He was a Superintendent of Schools in Hazel Green, Alma Center, and Mauston, WI.  In 1979 they moved to Windsor, WI when he accepted a position with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction where he worked until he retired in 1992.

He loved to hunt, fish, go camping and take trips to a cabin at Rock Dam Lake in Clark County where he taught his kids to waterski.  He never had to call an electrician, plumber, or carpenter and always had a woodworking or home improvement project going, including fixing up old cars for his children.  He repaired and refurbished numerous pieces of antique furniture, made wine, and collected cast ironware. Dick was a member of the American Legion, and went on an Honor Flight to Washington, DC.  He was also a member of the Mauston United Methodist Church and the Windsor Church of Christ.

Dick was preceded in death by his parents and brothers.  He is survived by his wife of nearly 67 years, Barbara, and their children:  Dianne (Terry) Franklin of River Falls, WI, Nanette (significant other Tom Raabe) Vetsch of Menomonie, WI, Daniel (Joan) of Mauston, WI, David of Ellsworth, WI, and Robert (Jill) of Arvada, CO; grandchildren:  Jamaal Franklin, Dr. Whitney (Ryan) Rudesill, Bailey (Brycen) Roy, Madeline Vetsch, Cody Brockopp, Loretta Brockopp, Sydney Darnill and Hailey Darnill; and two great-grandchildren, Ayla and Camden Rudesill.

A private family service was held at Greenwood Cemetery. Funeral services have been entrusted to the O’Connell-Benedict Family Funeral Home of River Falls (715) 425-5644.


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