Donald P Darnell

April 4, 1929December 25, 2018

Donald Pearson Darnell died peacefully in the presence of his family on December 25th, 2018. Don was born April 4th, 1929, in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated from Andrew Jackson High School, St Albans, New York, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York where he received an A. B. Degree and University of Maryland where he earned a Masters Degree. He was commissioned an Ensign in the United States Navy on June 2nd, 1950 and served in four ships, USS ELDORADO (AGC-11), USS TELFAIR (APA-210), USS NORFOLK (EDL-1), USS MCGOWAN (DD-678) and as the Assistant United States Naval Attache in Istanbul, Turkey before his retirement as a Lieutenant Commander in June, 1970. He served two tours in Vietnam and one in Korea.

A loving and beloved son, brother, husband, father, grandfather and friend, Don was a proud retired veteran of the United States Navy and a respected history teacher at Stonewall Jackson High School in Manassas, Virginia for 23 years.

Don was predeceased by his first wife of 42 years, Elaine Mitchell. He is survived by his wife of 14 years, Lois Petras, children David (Joleen), Deborah (Tim) and Donald Jr, (Joanne), six grandchildren Jennifer (Josh), John, Andrew, Samuel, Claire and Matthew, one great grand child Patrick, and his sister Lois Darnell Weiszmiller. He is also survived by an extended group including his blended family with Lois and many cousins, nieces, nephews and close friends that he considered his clan.


  • Visitation

    Sunday, December 30, 2018

  • Funeral Service

    Monday, December 31, 2018

  • Graveside Service

    Thursday, May 2, 2019


Donald P Darnell

have a memory or condolence to add?

Tina Qura

July 12, 2020

I am so sorry to hear the passing of Mr. Darnell! Mr. Darnell was my favorite teacher at Stonewall! I will never for get him!

Charles Hoeffer

January 7, 2019

Mr. Darnell was my favorite teacher at Stonewall Jackson High School. I have fond memories of him coaching Ted Pappas, Brad Ward and myself to appear on It's Academic on channel 4.

Charles Hoeffer, SJHS Class of 1977

Bill Denham

January 4, 2019

Mr. Darnell was such an outstanding teacher... although I dont think I realized it at the time. My freshman and sophomore years, I was so bored with school, my grades were subpar to say it nicely... i was an ok student, but i was losing interest in school. That is until my junior year, I had US History with Mr. Darnell. I remember the first day of class when he introduced himself as Dandy Don. I was thinking 'who is the goofy guy, does the school board know he is in the classroom?' It didn't take too long before he had me actually eager to be in his class. He had a way of challenging me without being condescending. He actually inspired me to try... I went from a low C student to lettering in academics that year. I then started taking AP classes my senior year. I can honestly attribute my success in life to Dandy Don. The world is a dimmer place when it loses a good man and that much more when it loses such a fantastic teacher. God bless you and keep you Mr. Darnell... thank you for all you did for me and all of your students.

Bill Denham SJHS '87

Bill Bixby

January 2, 2019

When I joined the Stonewall Jackson Social Studies Department in 1988, Mr. Darnell served as our Department Chair and leader in every sense of the word. I can picture to this day ---thanks to the open classroom design of the school ---the passion and energy he brought to his lessons. He was a true gentleman, role model, and professional. He made a lasting impression on me as a new teacher and made a positive difference in the lives of his many students. To his family I express my condolences and appreciation for Mr. Darnell.

Cristie Eckard

January 1, 2019

Me. Darnell was my 12th grade government teacher. I remember him as enthusiastic and so kind. He loved telling us about his years in the service. They don’t make them any better than him. My condolences and prayers to his family. 🙏🏻

William Knoth

January 1, 2019

MR Darnell was my favorite teacher! We would talk about history together after class , I Would then have to run to my next class so I wouldnt be late for class! He was a friend to all the students and a mentor! He would tell us his stories about when he was in the navy, wich we all loved to hear. He will be miss by so many of us ! My life has been inriched by knowing him !

Tammy Huber (Rubach)

January 1, 2019

Mr. Darnell made learning history and government fun and educational, a true talent. My condolences to his family during their hard time. He is remembered fondly SJHS ‘85 Raiders!

Ann Gittin Adamson

January 1, 2019

Mr Darnell was such a great teacher, inspiring fun encouraging. Know that he affected many people in a positive way. SJHS 1980, Go Raiders!

Dawn Walker

January 1, 2019

I wasn't lucky enough to have him as a teacher but he was such a big positive presence i still have fond memories of hallway chatter. Praying for his family and friends! Dawn

Dana Kidwell~Wells

December 31, 2018

I was a student at Stonewall Jackson High School and very Blessed to have the Awesome Teacher Mr. Darnell. I know all his students graduated with learning from His wisdom of History or His Military life stories. I have a wonderful memory of experiencing the best field trip ever to “It’s Academic” to watch the excited Mr. Darnell in what seemed to be “in His glory” . Thank you to His family for sharing Him with many young high school students who truly loved Him ❤️ GOD please hold His family close and give them peace.
Dana Kidwell Wells SJHS1976