Harold O. Darnell

October 29, 1920 ‒ December 05, 2016

Marion, Ohio

A man of the greatest generation, Harold O. Darnell, age 96, of Marion, died early Monday morning, December 5, 2016, at the Ohio Veterans Home in Sandusky, Ohio, following an extended illness.

On October 29, 1920, Harold was born in Marion, Ohio, the oldest of five children of the late Willard and Effie Mae (Thompson) Darnell.  He graduated from Marion Harding High School in the class of 1938, where he excelled in several sports.  Most notably he excelled in baseball, playing semi-pro ball for several years.

Following graduation, Harold started working as a mechanic on the Erie Railroad, until World War II began, and he enlisted to serve his country in the U.S. Army.  Harold was stationed in Iran and Iraq, where he worked as a mechanic servicing train engines to help get supplies to the front line.

Upon his honorable discharge, Harold returned home to Marion, where he resumed his work on the Erie Railroad.  During his forty plus years with the company, he became their master mechanic and foreman over an entire shift.  He was endearingly known as “Hod” at work, and he retired from the railroad in 1976.  He was a member of the Machinists Union.

On February 14, 1949, Harold married the love of his life, Rosemary Hicks.  Together they shared forty seven years of marriage, and raised three children.  They enjoyed being snowbirds for several years in Sebring, Florida, until they were no longer able due to her health.  She preceded him in death on February 16, 1996.

A man of faith, Harold was a member of the Lee Street Presbyterian Church, where taught Sunday School.  He was a fifty plus year member of the Marion Masonic Lodge #70, where he became a 32nd degree mason and served as a master mason.  Harold also was a member of the Y-Men’s Association, American Legion Post 162, and V.F.W. Post 7201.

With a love for the outdoors, Harold enjoyed hunting rabbit and coon with Dr. Kantzer.  He also loved going fishing for cat fish.

An avid sports fan throughout his life, in addition to playing semi-pro baseball, he loved golfing and was one of the first members at Hickory Grove Golf Course.  He also bowled in many leagues over the years.

One of a kind, Harold was a great man with a heart of gold.  His warm smile that lit up the room will be missed.

He will be missed by his daughter and son-in-law, Malinda and Gary Rowland of Marion; eight grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren; three siblings: Naomi White, Elmer Darnell, and Norma Jean Moore; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Including his wife and parents, Harold was preceded in death by two children: Rebecca Jones and Lloyd Darnell; and a sister, Luella Dyke.

His family will greet friends from 1 – 2 p.m. on Thursday, December 8, at the Snyder Funeral Homes, DENZER Chapel, 360 E. Center St., Marion.  Services honoring his life will be observed there at 2 p.m., beginning with Masonic services.  Burial will follow in Grand Prairie Cemetery with military honors provided by the Marion County United Veterans Council.

Memorial contributions may be made the Ohio Veterans Home, 3416 Columbus Ave., Sandusky, OH 44870.

On behalf of his family, they would like to extend a heartfelt “thank you” to everyone at the Ohio Veterans Home for their care of Harold.

Snyder Funeral Homes of Marion are honored to have been chosen to serve Harold’s family and your favorite memories and condolences may be shared with them by visiting www.SnyderFuneralHomes.com.

  • It was a true pleasure taking care of Harold. I’ll always see him sitting at the window in the sunshine, smiling and taping his toes to the music.
    That smile he had always made me think he was up to something!!! Besides lighting up the room!
    Take care

  • Malinda and family,
    I was so sorry to read about your dad. I remember as a child his gentle way and I don’t ever remember a couple so much in love as your mom and dad. You had a great family! My sympathy is with you.

    Velma Thacker Clabaugh