Kenneth Carleton Darby ’39

Kenneth Carleton Darby of Florence died on November 19, 2011. He was born at Woodland, in western Lauderdale County, on August 19, 1918, to Andrew Johnson and Kathleen A. Darby. His family moved into Florence in 1921 and he has been a resident of the city ever since.

He went to Kilby Training School and graduated from Coffee High School in 1935. He attended Florence State Teachers College for one year and transferred to Davidson College in North Carolina where he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. Mr. Darby was drafted into the Army in 1942 and attended OCS in Fort Sill where he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in June 1943. He married Josephine Harlan on August 14, 1943 and moved to Fort Bragg before he was sent to the Battle of Bougainville in the Pacific.

He was also in the battle for the recapture of the Philippines before he was made a 1st Lieutenant and Aide to Brig. General George V. Keyser. He was in Yokohama, Japan when the Peace Treaty was signed and was discharged from the Army in 1946. After six years in the mercantile business in Florence, in 1952 he entered the insurance and real estate business and was President of Darby-Hicks and Associates and K. C. Darby Realty until he retired. Mr. Darby was active in many professional and civic organizations. He was a member of both the National and Alabama Associations of Realtors, the Brokers Institute and a past President of the Muscle Shoals Board of Realtors. He was a member of the Florence Board of Education for ten years, a commissioner of the Florence Housing Authority and past Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Industrial Expansion Committee and co-chairman of the United Fund.

Mr. Darby was member and a past President of the Florence Rotary Club and was named a Paul Harris Fellow in 1994. He also served many years on the official board of the First United Methodist Church and the board of directors of the Wesley Foundation. His dedication and service to the community, as the sixth generation of his family to own land in Lauderdale County, led him to be active in many areas of the community.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Josephine Harlan Darby and is survived by his daughters, Hallie Darby Smith of Richmond, Virginia and Kathleen Darby McDonald of Florence. In addition he has four grandchildren, Harlan McDonald Terrell, David Carleton McDonald and wife Cindy all of Florence, Allison Smith Heverin and husband, Timothy of Chicago, Illinois, and Alfred L. Smith III of Richmond, Virginia; seven great grandchildren, Devin Terrell, Patrick, Katy, and Nora Heverin, Field and Harrison Smith and Andy Summers.

The family wishes to thank the wonderful caregivers of Eldercare and Hospice of Tennessee Valley. A memorial service will be at First United Methodist Church at 12PM, Tuesday.

The family will speak to visitors in the church Atrium 30 minutes prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the charity of your choice.