David Darnell was always there to help anyone in need, said Patty Darnell, his wife.
“I don’t care if it was 3 a.m.,” she said. “If someone called him and they needed something he never hesitated a bit.”
She recalled a time when an older couple flagged the Darnell’s tow truck down.
“Dave changed their tire and when the man asked how much he owed, he said ‘Consider me your angel for the day and have a good day,’” Patty Darnell said. “That was his phrase he would say.”
When plowing snow, Darnell would help the elderly or infirm, refusing to take payment.
A volunteer firefighter for more than 25 years, Darnell, 61, of Highland, was community oriented. He owned Darnell’s Auto Repair for 34 years and loved his job so much he insisted on going in even when ill, talking to customers, Patty Darnell said.
A prankster who enjoyed playing practical jokes, Darnell had a sense of humor that didn’t stop.
Darnell was passionate about his family. As a teenager, his daughter Sarah came to the business to work on cars with her dad.
“They built her first car to drive,” Patty Darnell said. “They enjoyed carving pumpkins. He was always there for her.”
Married 40 years, the couple were sweethearts at Highland High. They enjoyed many friends, snowmobiling, jet skiing and motorcycle riding.
“Whatever he would do, I was right by his side,” Patty Darnell said.
One of seven children, Darnell was close to his siblings and devoted to his family. He loved spending time with his grandchildren, Kyle, Kolin and David.
“He loved it when my oldest grandson, 16, would go and work with grandpa every Saturday,” she said. “His time with his grandchildren was very precious.”
“I miss spending our time together,” she said.