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Charles's Story

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Charles Austin Darnell, 91, of Chesterton, formerly of Lafayette, IN, passed away Monday, September 4, 2017.
He was born June 18, 1926 in Lewisville, IN, to Belfield and Nora (Jackson) Darnell. He graduated from Rushville High School where he excelled in track, despite the fact that in his youth he had contracted and survived rheumatic fever. He also became an accomplished jazz band bass player. In 1944 Charles enlisted in the US Navy and served as a crewmember on LST 1046. Charles' ship served in the Pacific theater, and he took part in the invasion of Okinawa. Following the war, he, on LST 1046. transported men and material between the Japanese home islands and China. In 1946 his ship was decommissioned and he returned to civilian life. He had a love of flying, earned his private pilot license and became an avid flyer of radio controlled planes.
In 1950 he married Geraldine Seeley Burbridge . Survivors include their children Christy (Dennis) Gonzalez of NY, Candy (Dave) Johnson of Linton, IN and Craig (Gina) Darnell of Chesterton, IN. Also surviving are his three grandchildren Thomas and Nick Darnell of Chesterton, IN, Dana (David) Nieves, and great granddaughter Hannah Nieves both of Portage, IN. In 1978 he married Florence Hensen and was actively involved with her children and grandchildren. He is also survived by brother Bill (Debbie) Darnell of Tucson, AZ, and Mary Lee Darnell of Rushville, IN.
He was employed for many years as an award winning salesman for GTE Yellow Pages. After his retirement, he drove a school bus for the Lafayette school system into his 80's. He enjoyed several years as a Floridian, until developing Alzheimer's and moved to Chesterton to be near family. His death came as result of a sudden illness but the Lord took him quickly and in his sleep.
Charles was proceeded in death by his parents, brothers Darwin and Glen Darnell, sister Beverly Washburn, wives Geraldine and Florence, and best friend Don Rowe.
There will be no memorial services or visitation as his wishes were to be cremated and ashes scattered on an airfield.
Published on September 14, 2017
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