Jean Kegley Darby
July 18, 1921 – May 20, 2019
Jean Kegley Darby (known also as Gene Darby), born July 18, 1921, passed peacefully into the arms of Our Lord in Red Bluff, California, on May 20, 2019. Jean was born in Pomona, California, to Wellington Higley Kegley and Ruth Tremaine Kegley and spent her youth in Ontario.
Jean met Raymond Vern Darby, Jr., at Chaffey Junior College, and the couple was married May 30, 1941, in Las Vegas. Ray served as a fighter pilot in the U.S. Army Air Corps in India, Burma, and China during World War II. Jean lived with her parents in Ontario until Ray returned from overseas. They then moved to Inglewood, California, where Jean gave birth to their daughter, Diane. In 1948 they moved to Chico and then in 1949 to Redding where Ray taught and served as Shasta County Superintendent of Schools from 1962 until 1974. Jean was married to Ray for 58 years until his passing in 1999. Two years after Ray's passing, Jean married John Roach, a widower and Ray's good friend. Jean loved spending time with her daughter and her four grandsons, attending their sporting and drama events, and traveling with them.
Jean was a devoted teacher. She taught in the Shasta and Enterprise school districts for 50 years. She taught at the Chico State University Demonstration School and later, after receiving her doctorate, at Shasta Community College. She was invited by the Ford Foundation and Columbia University to travel to New York to lecture on her approach to teaching.
Jean was also a prolific writer. She wrote twelve books in the first science textbooks for primary grades called the "What Is It" series published by Benefic Press. She wrote "Jerry Books," "The What If" social studies series, "The Time Machine" series, and "The Animal Adventure Books" for primary grades. Jean wrote the story books "Dinosaur Comes to Town," "That's Me in Here," and a beginning-to-read program with five books and workbooks approved by the California State Department of Education. She also wrote biographies for middle school students on Martin Luther King, Jr., Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Douglas MacArthur. Her works for older audiences included the novels "Journey Out of Darkness," a story about the life of a woman, and "Dearly Beloved, I Still Love You," the story of caring for her husband Ray during a five-year terminal illness.
Jean was active in her community. She was instrumental in the founding of The Writer's Forum in Redding and was active in Republican Women Federated and the Riverview Golf and Country Club. She attended Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church in Redding and Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Red Bluff.
Jean is survived by her daughter, Diane Braden (Robert) and grandsons, Brooks Braden (Anne), Beau Braden (Maria), Buck Braden (Rosa) and Britt Braden and twelve grandchildren: Evelyn, Madeline, Bede, Caroline, Fabian, Julian, Sebastian, Kilian, Isabella, Maximilian, Cosmas, and Ambrose. Jean is predeceased by her husbands Raymond Vern Darby, Jr. and John Roach, and her brother Wellington Tremaine Kegley. A Rosary will be said at Chapel of the Flowers at 7:00 pm on May 24, 2019 and a Funeral Mass will be said at 10:00 am on May 25, 2019 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Red Bluff, followed by a graveside service at St. Mary's with a reception immediately following at Sacred Heart Parish Hall.
- Diane Braden, Daughter
- Robert Braden, Son-in-law
- Brooks Braden, Grandson
- Beau Braden, Grandson
- Buck Braden, Grandson
- Britt Braden, Grandson
- 12 great grandchildren
- Brooks Braden, Active Pallbearer
- Beau Braden, Active Pallbearer
- Buck Braden, Active Pallbearer
- Britt Braden, Active Pallbearer
- Visitation Friday, May 24, 2019
- Rosary Friday, May 24, 2019
- Mass of Christian Burial Saturday, May 25, 2019