Darrell's Story

CHERRYFIELD - Darrell L. Farnsworth born October 13, 1943 the son of Kathleen L. (Tucker) & Herbert H. Farnsworth passed away suddenly on May 18, 2015.

Darrell was an avid horseman in his younger years. He owned many horses in his day, but his favorite was a strawberry roan he bought at the Blue Hill Fair. He named him Comanche. He raised and trained Comanche to become a champion as the many boxes of ribbons he accumulated can attest to. He taught his children this love for horses too. Billie Jo was riding in shows as young as 7 and continued to do so throughout her teen years.

Darrell was a lover of sports and music. He played basketball and baseball for the Cherryfield Academy and was also an alto saxophone player in the stage and concert bands. His love for sports and love for kids would have him later become a Little League and basketball coach for the Cherryfield school system. Often Carlton Willey would come to the baseball field to assist Darrell in teaching the kids how to play ball. Christopher and Eric were two of their star students and excelled in both sports. Our Dad touched the lives of many neighborhood children with his positive influence and love of the game.

The Farnsworth home was the gathering spot for many kids. Often there were enough kids at the house to have two full teams out playing ball in the horse pasture. There was never a family vacation that didn't include at least 1 but often 2 extra "adopted kids" on trips to Nova Scotia, Grand Manan and camping at Sabeo or Campobello.

In 1964 Darrell enlisted in the Army and spent time in Korea before becoming an honorably discharged Veteran of the Vietnam War. In the Army he was trained to operate heavy machinery. This would prove to be a valuable education as he spent most of the rest of his life in that line of work.

In 1966 Darrell married Mary (DeWitt) Farnsworth. They raised three children during their 37-year marriage. Even after divorce, they remained friends.

Darrell & Mary began a life in Millinocket where he took a job as a paper maker at Great Northern. His desire to be outside and his love for his family brought them and their first child back to Cherryfield within a couple of years. They purchased a home not far from his parents homestead and Darrell began a woods & trucking operation. His 1967 Big Red Mack, he named "The Billie Jo" was put to good use hauling logs and pulp. The old Mack also served as a training tool for many of Darrell & Mary's "adopted sons" as well as their biological ones.

Darrell taught David, Earl & Jesse how to drive that truck and by the time Danny was 12 he was also well versed in shifting 18 gears and changing tires. I don't think that there's a piece of equipment that Danny can't operate today thanks to the teachings of his Dad.

In the early 70's Darrell & Mary purchased the Cherryfield Trap Mill. They sold lobster trap supplies, oak furniture turning squares and custom sawed lumber. In the early 80's Darrell updated the mill with an automated Pendu Saw System he bought from the Amish (another place he liked to go on vacation, Lancaster, PA) and started producing log cabin stock. The mill was successful for a few years, but the operation ceased shortly thereafter. It was always Darrell's dream to put things back together and to run the mill again. He was planning to retire for the second time and saw lumber.

In the years since then, Darrell worked in a variety of jobs. He was a blueberry lease holder for Cherryfield Foods and both he and Mary were lease holders for Jasper Wyman's, he had a Christmas tree farm out on the Steuben wood lot (ask the kids about the time he took trees to Florida and they were robbed), he was an excavator operator for CFI, and equipment operator for Gott's Construction and the Town of Milbridge and his last jobs were working part-time for Wyman's as a security guard during harvest and part-time for the Town of Cherryfield transfer station.

Darrell was a lover of nature. He loved to hunt and fish. Later in life, he loved watching the animals rather than shooting them. Every time Keven would ask him if he had seen any moose out to camp, he would laugh a little, then smile and say no. His favorite place on Earth was three miles out in the woods, in his cabin, off the grid, overlooking Tunk Stream. He and his 4-legged companion "Tippy" made their home there until recent health issues brought him back to town for the winter.

Darrell was a fixture in the town of Cherryfield. If you needed to find him, the best bet would be to check the local coffee shop where he loved to chat with "the crew". If you didn't find him there, a restaurant was the next best bet.

Darrell had been an active member of the community throughout his years. He and Mary were members of the Rec Committee; he spent quite a few years as assistant fire chief and was a member of the Masons. He loved the Cherryfield Days Celebration and in years past he would come up with some pretty amazing floats for the parade on the flat bed trailer of that old Mack. He was an idea man, always had a grand plan and a big smile on his face. He will be missed.

Darrell leaves behind not just friends and family, but a community. We pray that he is with his parents and that he is holding Christopher in his arms again. Until we meet again, rest in peace Dad.

In addition to his parents, he is predeceased by his youngest son Christopher (December 9, 2009) and his nephew Mark Austin.

"Bid Daddy Darrell" is survived by:

Mary Farnsworth; Daughter: Billie Jo Stanwood and her fiance' Keven Brooks; Son: Daniel Farnsworth and his partner Christine Gordon, their children, Matthew, Megan, Patricia, Steve; Christopher's daughter: Brittany Atwater; Brother: Larry Farnsworth and his wife Pam, their children, Tammy & Wayne; Sister: Sandra White, Phil White and their children, Seth, Todd, Shaylee and Sy Cody; Sister: Audrey Pitt and her children, Leticia, Paula, Earl, & Benjamin; Sister-in-law: Gloria Austin and her son Jon; "Adopted Children" Earl Perry, David Dow, Jesse Halkett, Charlie & Corey Dalton; His beloved companion "Tippy"; Special Friends: Jim & Lil, Vinny, Edith, Susanne, and the North Street Cafe'"Coffee Crew", Lester, Louie, Kelsey, Harold; and many cousins: Linda, Carl, Von-Lee, Charlie, Francis to name a few.

Services will be held at the First Baptist Church in Cherryfield, 2pm, Monday, the 8th of June with Pastor Max Merrill officiating.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his memory to the Cherryfield Elementary School "Sports Fund", 85 School Street, Cherryfield, ME 04622 or to The Cherryfield Academy Community Center, 53 Main Street, Cherryfield, ME 04622
Published in Bangor Daily News
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