Darrell was just 67 years old when he passed away on Tuesday at St. Peter’s hospital. He was born on June 16, 1938 here in Springfield to Vernon and Emily (Thatcher) Green. Darrell spent his life in Springfield, farming for over 40 years.
Darrell was very close to his family, to his friends, and also his beloved cat, Crackers. Growing up with Darrell as an older brother wasn’t always easy for us. He would pick on us constantly, but let anyone else even look at us funny, and Darrell would be on our side, whatever may come. Darrell was good to his friends and employers, the Edwards family, and they were good to Darrell - their care and support during his last years especially, is very much appreciated by all of us. As a farmer, Darrell worked hard, but he also enjoyed his life. He loved to fish, and hunt deer, turkey and geese. There are a lot of stories about us hunting up North together, but I’m afraid that that those stories will have to stay up North. Sometimes it was suspected that Darrell may have found a nice spot under a tree and maybe did more napping than hunting. Darrell had planned to retire up North, and though that didn’t end up working out, he will be going back this spring when we scatter his ashes up at Marshall Point where he loved to hunt and perhaps nap.
There were other things besides hunting and fishing, Darrell collected farm toys- and we’ve brought some in today. He loved playing cards and going to the casino. He especially liked to play poker. Darrell loved to watch westerns-especially John Wayne Westerns, he enjoyed both kinds of music, Country and Western. A favorite was Singing Cowboy Gene Autry’s ‘Red River Valley’.
Many of you will recall Darrell’s huge garden. He enjoyed working in his garden and enjoyed sharing his produce with many of his friends in town- beautiful homegrown tomatoes. Darrell was a man who didn’t have a mean bone in his body, a warm friendly man who made his mark in the world not with grand gestures or fancy titles, but by the basic goodness and generosity of his character, by the quality of his involvement with his fellow man, and how he brought out these qualities in others.
There is a poem that speaks to these qualities ‘The House by the Side of the Road’ by Sam Walter Foss
There are hermit souls that live withdrawn
In the place of their self-content;
There are souls like stars, that dwell apart,
In a fellowless firmament;
There are pioneer souls that blaze the paths
Where highways never ran-
But let me live by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.
Let me live in a house by the side of the road
Where the race of men go by-
The men who are good and the men who are bad,
As good and as bad as I.
I would not sit in the scorner's seat
Nor hurl the cynic's ban-
I see from my house by the side of the road
By the side of the highway of life,
The men who press with the ardor of hope,
The men who are faint with the strife,
But I turn not away from their smiles and tears,
Both parts of an infinite plan-
I know there are brook-gladdened meadows ahead,
And mountains of wearisome height;
That the road passes on through the long afternoon
And stretches away to the night.
And still I rejoice when the travelers rejoice
And weep with the strangers that moan,
Nor live in my house by the side of the road
Like a man who dwells alone.
Let me live in my house by the side of the road,
They are good, they are bad, they are weak, they are strong,
Wise, foolish - so am I.
Then why should I sit in the scorner's seat,
Or hurl the cynic's ban?
Let me live in my house by the side of the road
There were many wonderful aspects to Darrell’s life, and many ways that he touched our lives. He will be remembered as a wonderful brother, a great friend, a generous uncle, cousin, outdoorsman, a poker player, collector, and farmer, a friendly face in town, or in the yard of his house by the side of the road. In all these ways and more, he made our lives richer and fuller. Now that he has passed away, of course there is emptiness and pain, confusion and maybe even anger at death coming to a man of only 67 years, but in many ways, the gift of Darrell’s life is still here with us. He lives on in our memories and stories, and in what all of us have become because of him. So I encourage you to share –today, tomorrow and in the years to come- your memories and stories, and to share the pain of your loss as well. In this way we will keep the gift of Darrell’s life alive.
On behalf of the rest of the family, I’d like to thank you all for coming here today.
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