Darnell remembered as honest, helpful person
John Paul D a r n e l l , who died at his home on M o n d a y morning, March 10 following a two-and-half-year battle with cancer, was remembered by those who knew and worked with him as a man of his word who was always available when a need arose.
“He was a special person,” said Bennie Jolly, a neighbor of Darnell in the Hopewell Community of Kemper County. “He never failed when you called on him for something. He was there for you.”
Darnell, 72, spent most of his working career as a phone technician for Hughes Telephone, BellSouth, and At&T, but felt the need to serve his county in a more public way. In 2006, following the death of District 3 Supervisor Dennis Allen, Darnell decided to run for the remainder of Allen’s unexpired term. He won that election and then was elected twice more, serving on the Kemper County Board of Supervisors for just over nine years.
“I have the utmost respect for John Paul Darnell,” said District 4 Supervisor Mike Luke. “He brought a lot to the board of supervisors. He represented not only his district, but all of Kemper County well.”
Current District 3 Supervisors Scott Johnson, who is Darnell’s son-in-law reiterated the he was without a doubt a man who wanted to help and serve others.
“There was not one time that you needed him for something that he wasn’t there,” Johnson said. “Whenever you called, he would be there.”
Lifetime friend Wendell Hagan said Darnell was a special person who refused to complain.
“He was just a good man,” Hagan said. “I took him to a lot of his treatments throughout all of the sickness and I never once heard him complain. That was just the way he was.”
Hagan also said that Darnell loved to hunt and watch his grandkids play ball. “I know he went to a lot of those ballgames,” he said.
Both Hagan and Jolly said Darnell took his position as a county supervisor very seriously.
“He said that he just wanted to serve his county, and that’s where he felt like he could,” Jolly said of Darnell’s decision to run for District 3 supervisor.
He was preceded in death by his wife Georgia Darnell. His survivors include two daughters, a son, five grandchildren, two sisters, an aunt, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
The complete obituary can be found below on this page in this week’s Kemper County Messenger.