Darrell grew up in a family of four active boys. His parents were devoted Christians and raised their boys to love God. Darrell went to church camp each year and accepted the Lord as his Savior at a young age. At this time he committed his life to serving God.
After graduation from high school, he worked as a meat cutter at a local packing company until that plant closed. He then turned to driving trucks for a local company that both his brother and dad also drove for. He fell in love with driving a semi truck and continued with this profession until his death.
Darrell met his wife at church, and they became faithful workers in their church. They have one son and a daughter-in-law, and two daughters and a son-in-law. Darrell and his wife were married for 34 years and would have celebrated their 35th anniversary in about one month. They were also blessed with seven grandchildren at the time of his death. His grandchildren were the love of his life and the apple of his eye.
Next to God and family, he loved being a rural volunteer firefighter, serving faithfully in Fairbury for over 25 years. He held several positions within the department, including captain and safety officer. While helping with a search and rescue for some children, Darrell hurt for the family because they had a hard time finding information and were left on their own. He continued to think of this family and felt the Lord calling him to be a fire chaplain. Soon he became the chaplain for the rural department. He also worked towards becoming a licensed pastor for the Foursquare Church where he attended. He was to possibly receive his license at district conference in September, but passed away before that was accomplished. He was head usher at his church and a greeter. He also served on the council for many years.
On August 10, 2014, he answered his final fire call before church and suffered a heart attack on the way to the fire hall to get a truck. He passed away on August 13, 2014. Through the years, he made many friends in the trucking business and with other firefighters in surrounding towns. He was honored at his funeral by over 500 family members, friends, firefighters, EMTs, and members of law enforcement.
Darrell was the first firefighter to die in the line of duty in Jefferson County.
He left behind his wife, son, two daughters, a daughter-in-law and a son-in-law. He was also survived by his mother and father, three brothers, and their wives. He is also missed by his seven grandchildren.