Ray Earl Darling obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Ray Earl Darling

January 22, 1927 - September 14, 2016

Obituary


Ray Earl Darling was born January 22, 1927, and at age 89, went to be with his Lord on September 14, 2016 in DeLand, Florida.
Ray was a long-time resident of Orlando, moving there in 1958 from his boyhood home of Hammond, Indiana where he was born and enjoyed his early years. He was the son of Ernest Charles and Edith Marian Darling (both deceased), and (mostly) big brother to three sisters: Betty Mae Rodda, Shirley Jean Banta, and Lenora Emilie Bolt (deceased). He contracted pneumonia when he was very young and almost died...

Ray Earl Darling was born January 22, 1927, and at age 89, went to be with his Lord on September 14, 2016 in DeLand, Florida.
Ray was a long-time resident of Orlando, moving there in 1958 from his boyhood home of Hammond, Indiana where he was born and enjoyed his early years. He was the son of Ernest Charles and Edith Marian Darling (both deceased), and (mostly) big brother to three sisters: Betty Mae Rodda, Shirley Jean Banta, and Lenora Emilie Bolt (deceased). He contracted pneumonia when he was very young and almost died which stunted his growth. Although only Betty was older than him, and (he said) the girls would boss him around, he was still very proud to be the only brother of all three girls. He graduated from Hammond High School in 1944 just before being drafted into WWII.
He received his U.S. Army basic training at Camp Atterbury in Columbus, Indiana in 1945, and was immediately transferred to Europe. He was only there a short while before receiving an assignment as a personal driver for a senior officer involved in the Nuremburg Trials. He traveled between Paris and a number of major cities and was able to see and document the destruction across Europe and Germany. As he traveled, he would often greet the German citizens with the phrase "Was ist los?" (What's going on?), and they would respond with "Nicht ist los, alles kaput" (Nothing's happening, everything's destroyed.) After returning home as a Private first class, he was honorably discharged from the Army in 1946 and planned to enlist in the U.S. Naval Reserve in 1948 with three army buddies who sang with him in a barbershop quartet. However, two backed out and only Ray and one other actually enlisted, and he subsequently served as a Boatswain's Mate aboard cargo ships moving supplies between Norfolk, VA; France; Germany; NAAS Green Cove Springs, Jacksonville, and Daytona Beach, FL; the U.S. Virgin Islands; Puerto Rico; Trinidad; and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on the USS Whitley and Wyandot.
While still active in the Navy and taking night classes in engineering on the GI Bill, Ray married Kathryn Mae Earnhart in 1948 and they moved to Cincinnati, OH where he started working as an electrical technician for the Crosley-Bendix appliances, finally graduating from Purdue University with a BSEE in a new discipline, Electronics Engineering. While there, he heard about a new company startup in a much warmer climate. The Glenn L Martin aircraft manufacturing company was going to open up a new plant in Orlando, FL, so he packed up his wife, two small kids, and all their belongings into their station wagon. As they drove away, they slid down the icy Cincinnati hill, finally stopping just before entering a busy four-lane highway. Ray was often heard to say afterwards "I'm never going back to where it's cold".
Once arriving in Orlando, Ray started his career as an Electrical Engineer at the Glenn L. Martin Company as a specialist in the new field of integrated circuits, working on the Pershing, Sprint, and Bullpup missile programs. He later moved into leadership positions on the TADS/PNVS and the LANTIRN targeting/navigation systems, and received an MBA from Rollins College during this time. He retired in 1992 as Manager of Components Engineering at Lockheed Martin.
Ray is survived by his former wife, Kathryn Carr; three children: Kathy Pike (Larry), David Darling (Sharon), and Rebecca Cone (Fred); five grandchildren: Michael (Melissa), Christopher, and William Darling, and Myles and Tyler McNamara; and two great grandchildren: Nolan and Adalynn Darling.
He was an Elder at Zion Lutheran Church, and loved to spend his spare time watching and playing golf, eating sardines and oranges, soaking up the Florida sun, listening to his Bill Gaither VHS tape collection, and buying and selling real estate.
His Celebration of Life will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 18th in the Chapel at Woodlawn Memorial Park and Funeral Home. A reception will be held at the same location after the services.
The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Alzheimer's Association (P.O. Box 96011; Washington, D.C. 20090-6011). Additional information can be obtained by visiting their website at alz.org (click on the "donate" tab) or by phone at 1-800-272-3900.