Ronald Henry Darby

Published 4:33 pm Saturday, July 1, 2017

Ronald Henry “Ron” Darby, of Nederland, passed away on June 30, 2017 at Cypress Glen Nursing Home in Port Arthur, Texas at age 81 following a lengthy illness.
Ron was born on March 28, 1936 in Port Arthur as the younger child and only son of Paul Darby and Leona Elizabeth Joyner Darby.  His parents had lived in Port Arthur since they moved there as children in 1915 and 1918, respectively.  He graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in Port Arthur in 1954 and later attended Lamar State College of Technology (now Lamar University) in Beaumont.
He was a soldier in the United States Army from the time he was drafted on October 10, 1956 until his honorable discharge on October 9, 1962 as the rank of Specialist 4 in the Anti Aircraft Artillery.  Most of his time on active duty in 1957 and 1958 was in Germany at Kaiserslautern and Baumholder.  He was awarded the Good Conduct Medal and Soldier of the Month at Battery, Battalion, and Group levels.
He worked for Jefferson Chemical in Port Neches in July 1959 on what was planned to be a two-week temporary job and retired April 1, 1996 (after the company had become Texaco Chemical and finally Huntsman Chemical).  Most of his employment was as an instrument technician although he was also involved with the instrument training program and oversaw a large capital warehouse project.  He made many friendships at work that carried over into retirement.
After spending a long day at the auto races on July 4, 1960, he met a beautiful 19-year old recent graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School named Lynda Lee Latiolais.  She was attracted to him (and to his maroon 1960 Chevrolet Corvette).  Their courtship lasted over 3 years until Lynda gave him an ultimatum: propose or break up.  He proposed, and they were married February 14, 1964 at St. Mary Catholic Church in Port Arthur.  They were happily married for 30 years until Lynda’s death from cancer on December 23, 1994 at the young age of 53.
The hobbies of photography, travel, aviation, and sports cars provided a lifetime of enjoyment.
He was predeceased by his parents, his sister Beulah “Bee” Hollier, all of his aunts and uncles, over 20 cousins, and his wife’s parents.
He is survived by son Jeff Darby and his wife Christy of Nederland; daughter Jill Darby Hill and her husband Frank of Groves; granddaughter Kristen Hill Kayser and her husband Coby of Conroe; grandson Justin Hill of Conroe; granddaughter Lindsey Darby Raby and her husband Trent of Nederland; granddaughter Catherine Darby of Nederland; granddaughter Melissa Darby of Nederland; great-grandchildren Aiden, Ailey, and April Kayser of Conroe.  He was immensely proud of all of them.
Other survivors are sister-in-law Fran Gallion and husband Paul of Wildwood; sister-in-law Phyllis Armstrong and husband Arnold of Silsbee; cousin Mickey Hebert and his wife Dot of Hudson, New Hampshire; cousin Carl Erickson of Port Arthur; cousin Joy Flowers of Waco; cousin Robert Joyner and his wife Dianne of Waco; cousin Mack Joyner and his wife Brenda of Reagan, Texas; cousin Bonnie Riu of Port Neches; and countless other family and friends.
A gathering of Mr. Darby’s family and friends will be from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., Sunday, July 2, 2017, at Broussard’s, 505 North 12th Street, Nederland. His funeral service will be 2:30 p.m., Monday, July 3, 2017, at Broussard’s, with his interment following at Oak Bluff Memorial Park, Port Neches. Reverend Dr. Douglas Caldwell, Pastor of Wesley United Methodist Church in Nederland and Pastor Ron Hammond of Church On The Rock in Beaumont, will officiate.
If you wish to make a charitable donation in lieu of flowers, please make one in honor of Ron to the charity of your choice.
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