OBITUARY

Mr. Robert A. Darnell

January 17, 1921July 6, 2014
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Greensboro, NC Mr. Robert Arthur Darnell, 93, of Greensboro, died Sunday, July 6, 2014 at Clapp’s Nursing Center in Pleasant Garden. A reception will be held Friday, July 18, 2014, 2:00-4:00 p.m., at the UNCG Alumni House, 404 College Avenue, Greensboro. Bob was born January 17, 1921 in Craig, Colorado, the son of Arthur M. Darnell and Lura Pickett Darnell. Bob spent his early life in St. Joseph, Missouri and Norfolk, Nebraska. He completed his undergraduate degree in music at the University of Colorado at Boulder. A master’s degree in music composition followed at the University of Texas in Austin. Bob cherished memories of subsequent study at the Fontainebleau School of Fine Arts in France with mentors Nadia Boulanger and Robert Casadesus, and in New York with Carl Friedberg. In 1948 he accepted a position on the piano faculty at UNC-G where he remained until his retirement in 1988. It was there that he met his future wife, Jane Merrick Wharton, a music faculty colleague. They wed in 1951 and enjoyed a long marriage noted for their love of each other and passion for music. Bob was a consummate teacher and maintained relationships with his students for many years. He loved hearing of their later achievements in music. In addition to his parents, Bob was preceded in death by his wife Jane and his brother Byron Darnell. Surviving is his daughter, Lynn Merrick Darnell Thompson of Greensboro; son, Robert Wharton Darnell and wife Christine Greenlees and their children Cameron and Liam, all of Bethesda, MD. The family wishes to express their appreciation for the tender loving care given to Mr. Darnell by the staff of Clapps Nursing Center where he lived for the last 5 years of his life. “Mr. Bob” was much loved for his grace and gentleness by everyone who knew him. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to: UNC-G Alumni Association, P.O. Box 26170, Greensboro, NC 27402-6170. Written and audio condolences may be made at www.haneslineberryfuneralhomes.com

Services

  • Reception Friday, July 18, 2014
REMEMBERING

Mr. Robert A. Darnell

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Adrian McDonnell

August 9, 2014

Robert Darnell was a fine musician and pianist, as well as a wonderful teacher, recognizing and optimizing the unique potential in each of those whom he taught. His dedication to his students, along with his quiet authority and patience, contributed to so many careers. I remember him fondly and am grateful to have been able to work with him.

Catherine Pruett

July 11, 2014

Robert Darnell gave so many young pianists a passion for music that will burn through our veins forever. A consummate musician and hilarious person, Mr Darnell was a bright star to many struggling young pianists and a gentle giant of a man.

July 11, 2014

Please accept Hanes-Lineberry staff condolences for your loss. You can depend on us to assist you on this journey and we will strive for your complete satisfaction. Mike Geary GM

Amber Poe

July 11, 2014

Bob was a wonderful man. I was one of his nurse aides at Clapps. The man blessed my life more than I could have ever imagined. He was like a member of my family, close to my heart, where he will stay. He played me pieces on the piano and I enjoyed those moments so much. My deepest condolences to the family and friends. He was a great man and will be missed dearly.

Charles Croson

July 11, 2014

I had the pleasure of meeting him only one time and that was at the Nursing Home he resided at. I thought of him as a very nice guy who was funny and very smart. I wish I got to know him more, but may he Rest in Peace and play his music from Heaven for all the World to hear.

Nathan Matthews

July 9, 2014

Robert Darnell helped shape my life through his quiet wisdom, quirky humor and consummate musicianship. As my primary professor at UNC-G for four years, we spent countless hours working on piano music and considering possible paths for a music career after a university education. For many years I returned to visit Mr. and Mrs. Darnell as my career moved forward. Their hospitality and advice was boundless. I miss them both.

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