Tuesday, July 01, 2008
My beloved Papa passed away in May. A month later we had an amazing Memorial for him (and my Nana who had passed away 10 years before). We chartered a boat and spread their ashes into the Puget Sound. The day was perfectly sunny. As their ashes were released we had Somewhere Over the Rainbow, playing. Then as we circled their ashes and the flowers we had thrown, we listened to My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion.
There is so much I could tell you about him. But I think his obituary sums up almost it all. Other than I loved him so much and will miss him every day!!
Jerry Darling, 75, of Granite Falls, Washington unexpectedly died of a sudden heart attack May 15, 2008. He was born in Plankinton, South Dakota on September 3, 1932. His family moved to Los Angeles, California to escape the Great Depression and he grew up in Inglewood, California. As a boy, he became fascinated by airplane development in wartime Los Angeles. World War II left him with many very vivid memories and a sustained pride in our country's accomplishments. He flew in the Air Force during the early 1950s and was stationed in the Mediterranean. After he served his country in the Air Force, Jerry met Betty while they worked together at Douglas Aircraft. They fell deeply in love and married in 1955 and honeymooned in the Deep South. In the early 1960s, he worked on NASA projects. He was particularly proud of a design for a satellite and work he did on the Atlas rocket. Jerry accepted a job offer from Boeing to work on the 747 and they moved from California to Everett in 1966. He was a proud member of Boeing's Incredibles for his work to make the 747 possible. He worked there as a tool design engineer until his retirement in late 1995.
Jerry had a marvelous sense of humor and loved to laugh, joke and tease people, but never in any hurtful way. Handsome and athletic, he aged gracefully and felt fitness was essential to enjoying life. He was a man of very many enthusiasms and hobby's. He enjoyed flying and owned for a time a small acrobatic airplane. He loved sailing, so he owned a 28 ft sailboat and had a home overlooking the Puget Sound. He liked astronomy, so he had a large telescope. He became very passionate about bicycling and rode in the Seattle to Portland bicycle race more than once. He also ran the Seattle Marathon during the time when running was his passion. He learned to scuba dive after retirement and dove on many occasions with his son Steve. He spent many evenings with his daughter, Rhonda, attending plays at the Everett Theater and listening to the Everett Symphony. Painting came easy to Jerry and enjoyed his lessons in the art. He enjoyed playing golf and loved following the tournaments of the PGA. He loved books on history, politics and above all, science. All of these subjects he could discuss with a great depth of knowledge and feeling. He loved his classical music and attended with friends concerts by the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and performances by Seattle Opera. He decided shortly after he retired that he would become a hand on a fishing boat in the stormy Gulf of Alaska! He did this for ten weeks and enjoyed every minute telling story's to the family about his adventures.
Jerry was preceded in death by his dear wife, Betty Darling. She died in 1998.
He is survived by his brother, Dr. Jack Darling and Geraldine, of Arlington, WA; children, Rhonda Darling, and Steve and Debra Darling; grandchildren, Jason and Chilly, Christina and Dave, Cassie and Jeremy, Ashley, Jason and Nicky; great-grandchildren, Kayleigh, Dylan, Brenna, Bryce, Easton, Aidan, Chance, Tori, Jordan, and Payton; his brother-in-law, Jerry Tippin and Janice; and all of his nieces and nephews who meant so much to him.
He was a very kind, thoughtful man his many family members and friends will greatly miss. Jerry was deeply loved by his family and those that new him.
At his request, no services will be held. His ashes will be mixed with those of his wife Betty and spread in the Puget Sound within view of the house that he and Betty lived in for so many happy years overlooking the water.