OBITUARY: Ralph William Darling

Ralph William Darling

Ralph William Darling, age 90, of Montrose, Colorado, formerly Mt. Prospect, Illinois, passed away April 27, 2021, after a long battle with dementia. He died peacefully at home surrounded by family.

Ralph and his twin brother, Bob, were born July 2, 1930, in Chicago, Illinois, the fifth and sixth of eight children. He was the son of Roy Joseph Xazier Darling and Helen Charlotte Goodman Darling. On July 11, 1953 he married Dorothea Somers, his wife of 51 years, who preceded him in death in 2005.

Ralph joined the Marines during the Korean Conflict, serving as a master drill sergeant and was wounded twice in battle. He rarely spoke of his battle experiences, but he held great pride in being a Marine to his last day. Right before he passed, he asked for his Marine ball cap to be placed on his head.

He lived in and served the city of Mt. Prospect, Illinois, both as a police officer and as a public works supervisor / master gardener until his retirement in 1987, when he and “Gus,” as Dorothea was affectionately called, moved to Montrose, Colorado. There they enjoyed making new friends, dining at the Red Barn and taking scenic car rides through the mountains. They ran a holiday caramel corn business called Mrs. D and Me for many years. Ralph enjoyed hunting and fishing and watching his beloved Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bears win or lose — if they played, he was a happy, loyal fan. He loved to drink a cold beer, tell a few jokes and just be with friends. Ralph had a big personality and never met a stranger. He would not mince words though, and a person knew where they stood with him. He was loyal, hard-working, and loved to laugh as much as he yelled. He will be dearly missed.

Preceding him in death was his beloved wife, Dorothea; his sisters and brothers, Marion Leonard, Emily Coakley, Bob, Grace Coughlin, Roy and Mike and his sister-in-law Wanda Ewing. He is survived by his daughter, Kim (Gary) Crisp Las Vegas, Nevada; son Craig (Cindy) McKinney, Texas; grandchildren, Andrew Darling, Dallas Texas, Ben Darling, Chicago, Illinois, Steven Crisp, Montrose, Colorado, Taylor Crisp, Pasadena, Colorado, Ethan Crisp, Reno, Nevada; brother Dave (Betty), Vista, California and many nieces, nephews and friends. A private family memorial will be held later. If you want to celebrate Ralph’s life, have a cold beer and tell some jokes with good friends. He would have liked that.

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