In Memory of Richard Darnill

Private family services will be held.

Greenwood Cemetery
East Division Street
River Falls WI, 54022

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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.

Richard's Tribute Wall

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  • To all who knew and loved Dick, you already know what a special person he was. I had the honor of visiting with Dick on nearly a daily basis for several years when he would stop in at our family bakery in Windsor for a cup of coffee and sometimes a treat. I heard MANY stories from his long and interesting life including so many about his kids and grandkids. I had the pleasure of meeting several of his family members who stopped by with him at our shop, and it was always very impressive to me how lovingly he took care of and cherished his wife Barb when he brought her along for an occasional visit. (Although I believe most days he timed his bakery visit to coincide with the airing of “Barb’s show, The Young and the Breathless.” You’re probably not surprised by his alteration of that title, and I can still hear it said in his voice as I recall his words. 😉 While I didn’t have opportunity to meet all of Dick’s family, I feel as if I know you all through him and mourn his passing with you. He was proud to have served his country, was a generous man (he loved handing out complimentary tickets to his church’s periodic family dinners in particular), and always pulled up to the bakery in his “shiny ride” complete with a memorable license plate (Cast Fe, I do believe) that was a nod to his love of cast iron. He always had a twinkle in his eye, a genuine smile and loved a good hug. Although I had lost touch with he and Barb during the past couple of years as my daily work at the bakery changed, he will always have a very special place in my heart. With deepest love and respect, Julie Schnell, owner of Windsor Breads Bakery & Coffeehouse

  • Hi Barbara and family. I was so sorry to learn about Dick’s passing. I think about you often, remembering the good years in Windsor. Hoping everyone is well and that good memories help you through these difficult times. Karen Womack

  • The volunteers, flight team and board of Badger Honor Flight mourn the loss of their hero, Richard Darnill. We are thankful for his military service and proud to have served him on his trip to Washington, D.C. on May 3, 2014.

  • Barbara, we are sorry to hear about Dick. He was a great guy. He hired Judy rose and I in Alma Center in 1965. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Chuck and Judy Rose White

  • Diane and Family. – So sorry to read of your father’s passing. He sounds like an amazing man. Now I understand where you got it from! May all your memories get you through the difficult times, now and in the future. Deb Davenport