Ronald “Ron” Boyce Darnell

Ron was born on October 16, 1934, and went to be with his Lord, Jesus Christ, on October 27, 2023. He resided with dear friends and the loving and dedicated team at The Hidenwood Retirement Community.

Ron was born in Hampton, Virginia, to W. F. (Dick) and Lottie (Lucille) Lewis Darnell. He was a 1953 graduate of Hampton High School, where he ran on the track team, and he met Elizabeth (Liz) Thomas, the love of his life, who later became his wife of 67 years until her passing in 2021.

Upon graduating, Ron entered the Newport News Shipbuilding Apprentice School (1953-1957), earning a certificate as a Steam Pipe Fitter. He also served in the U.S. Naval Reserves (1953-1961) as Seaman 1st Class. After certification from the Apprentice School, he went into Piping and Design and later to Cost Engineering until retirement in 1996.

Ron was an outdoorsman and naturalist. Upon his retirement, he could be seen playing with friends and family at many local golf courses. He enjoyed volunteering at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. Ron and Liz loved birding, were members of the Newport News Birding Club, and went on several local and out-of-state trips searching for “life birds.” He and Liz were involved in banding birds for migratory research on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

Ron dearly loved and had close relationships with his grandchildren, Andy, Stephanie Heilman, and Kelly Darnell. His three great-grandsons, Noah, Carson, and Jack Heilman, brought him immense joy, and he looked forward to his FaceTime with them.

He is preceded in death by his wife, Elizabeth T. Darnell; parents, Dick and Lucille Darnell; brother and sister-in-law, W.F. (Bill) and Jean Powell Darnell of Annapolis, MD; and brother, Richard L. Darnell of Newport News.

Ron is survived by his sister and brother-in-law, Linda (Darnell) and Walt E. Thomas of Paris, Arkansas; sister and brother-in-law, Corrine (Thomas) Clary and Bill Thomas of La Crosse, Virginia; sister-in-law, Charlotte Ferguson Darnell of Newport News; daughter and son-in-law, Cathy Darnell (Paul) Heilman; son Ronald (Gary) and Jan Darnell of Belhaven, NC; grandson, Andy (Stephanie) Heilman; great-grandsons, Noah, Carson, and Jack Heilman of Leesport, PA; granddaughter, Kelly Darnell of Liverpool, OH, and many loving nieces and nephews.

A private Celebration of Life will be held in his honor.

1 Comment

  1. Douglas Heilman

    I am sorry for your loss every time I met Ron he was always a gentleman warm and friendly and would go out of his way to help you he will be dearly missed

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