Monday, April 29, 2019

#9 My dad, B.F. Darnell, Ordained Minister.

 Many years he had a weekly radio program,  He would NEVER ask for money, it was against his principles.
       Mom and Dad

Now ending this series of entries…

Retirement, you must be ready for retirement. Have something to occupy yourself. My daddy did not. His church was his life. He was in demand for speaking engagements. He delighted in those services, but once he was home, Monday morning there was no church building to ‘check out.’ To make sure it was cleaned and thermostats checked. No sick members to visit, no special services to plan, etc. He was not prepared for ‘retirement’.  He finally settled in, but it was tough.
Picture from Belmont History. Dad and Brother Floyd Summey (SS superintendent)  advertising the pony and bicycle to be given away.

My dad had a heart attack at 69. His nurse in Charlotte was a former member of a mountain church I once pastored. She broke a rule or two and told Dick (my BIL) to contact me, “Bro. Darnell doesn’t have long to live. Contact Jack and tell him if he wants to see his father alive he needs to get here quick.”

Dick contacted the Red Cross and they were able to get me on a plane from GITMO.  Due to weather, I was a day late. His funeral was at the South Gastonia Church that he had organized. A large church, it was packed, several present and former state officials were there. I was reminded of a request my dad had made of Governor Cherry, a friend from Shelby, NC. Dad had asked to come to Raleigh and sit in the state ‘electric chair’ and be hooked up as if he was to be electrocuted, just to see how it felt.’ The Governor obliged.

 Studios of WABZ Albemarle, NC Dad, mom and the choir.
I disappointed my dad when I resigned the New Hope Church and left the ministry. It was awhile but he let me know he understood.

Dad was original, he actually asked the undertaker to let him lay in a casket. He then rented the casket for a Sunday morning service. His Sermon, “THE funeral you will attend.” He had the casket up front with flowers. Everyone in the church lined up to view the deceased. Daddy had placed a mirror in the casket.  Some laughed some cried, but it made an impact.  That was my DADDY!  He was, B.F, Darnell, or his take was: Benjamin Franklin Thomas Jefferson Roosevelt Darnell.

Nite Shipslog

PS: He actually introduced me until my teens as:
This is my son ‘Jacktum meyanktum, Hick stank stanktum, bowlegged, knock kneed, pigeon-toed jacktum.’  Believe it or not I got a kick out of it. And many people tried to remember it. Finally Cousin Jimmy Herron got it right. To this day that is what he calls me.
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I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

He lived a wonderful life doing his job until the finish. You can be proud of all he did. It must have been hard being a day late but I'm sure he understood.

Dar said...

What a wonderful, colorful sense of humor your dad had, and easy to see why he was so loved by the community but most of all, his family. Your pride shows. What an outstanding attribute. Love your name. So funny.
love n' hugs from up north where YES, it's snowing. The ground has warmed up enough tho, that nothing is sticking.

Mevely317 said...

WOWzer! They don't make 'em like that anymore!
I think I've shared, my dad struggled mightily with retirement. Because he was always a 'go-go-go' sort of fellow, he'd predicted his only early demise at 69.
BTW, I love how you took a sad paragraph and made me laugh out loud. And that business with the open casket? My uncle, an undertaker, once lay down and asked someone to take his picture so he could see what he'd look like. Funny business aside, it sounds like he was a master at imparting life lessons.

Glenda said...

What an awesome sense of humor he had, he passed that on and we're so thankful!!!

Lisa said...

The more I read, the more I like em.
I like how he did some of his sermons with examples.
You are creative and a great story teller, like him. I bet you were a great pastor as well.

From the desk

Chatty Crone said...

Boy your dad was such an unusual man - but what you learned from him and the respect you have for him is amazing. Sorry you didn't make it home, but I am glad you were there for the funeral. He died young.

betty said...

I would have loved to have heard one of his sermons! And so neat he had a radio show! A gem of a man. So sorry he didn't live past 69 years old.

Thanks for sharing him and all the other special men in your life with us! Pleasure to read!



a wonderful man, indeed.

Rick Watson said...

What a beautiful entry Jack.