September 4, 2021, 84, Faro –
William Luke Darden, 84, departed this temporary home to join with the great cloud of witnesses around the throne of God on September 4, 2021. William was born in Wayne County to the late Nathan Julius Darden and Ruby Woodle Renfrow on October 14, 1936. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 48 years, Patricia Wiggs Darden and his brother, Richard Darden.
In 1954, William graduated from Eureka High School, being noted as most athletic and being recognized for his exemplary skills in farming. William learned early on that tilling the land, planting seeds, controlling weeds, and praying for rain were all part of the process in reaping a bounteous harvest. He knew that hard work and faith were necessary partners in farming, and he possessed both. So at the age of 18, he took his skills and made a living that he loved for the rest of his life. From multiple high school awards from the Future Farmers of America Association to being awarded Outstanding Young Farmer in the 1970s, there was no better reward for William than to observe God’s goodness through harvest.
Outside of farming, William still knew of no better place to be than outdoors. Hunting for a trophy buck or fishing for bass, perch, or brim thrilled him to no end. Whether sitting on the banks of a river or up in a tree stand, he was content as could be.
At the age of 10, William was affirmed as a member of Yelverton United Methodist Church, where he spent his life in worship and service to his Lord. For over 40 years, he served faithfully as the church’s treasurer. His friendship with members of his church and his community was merely a reflection of his relationship with his Lord and Savior.
Feeling a call to serve his fellowman, William enlisted with the North Carolina National Guard and served for six years. Dedicated to his community, he joined the Faro Fire Department at age 18 and served tirelessly for years. His service with the Ruritan Club was no less remarkable, as he joined their ranks in 1959 and was awarded the Outstanding Member Award four times over the decades of his membership.
The family will be available during a drive-by visitation at Eureka Cemetery from 10:30 – 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, September 9, 2021. A graveside service to celebrate William’s life will follow the time of visitation at the cemetery beginning at 11:00 a.m. with Rev. Billy Yeargin and Rev. Jimmy Scott presiding. You may park in different areas of the cemetery after the drive-by visitation if you are attending the graveside service. Attendees are asked to wear a face-covering and practice social distancing. The family also requests those attending the service to stand at a distance from the family tent to allow for proper social distancing. Mr. Darden will lie in state at Seymour Funeral Home on Wednesday, September 8, 2021 from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. for those that will not be able to attend the service.
William is survived by his daughters and sons-in-law, Gail and Bill Elmore of Faro and Dana and Chris Potter of Patetown; grandsons, Jordan Elmore (Emily) and Austin Lewis; and two great-grandchildren, Jace and Callum Elmore. He is also survived by several nieces, nephews, cousins and friends he loved very much.
We would like to give a very special thank you to the wonderful staff at Community Home Care and Hospice, especially Ashley Prebe, Nikki Wolfe and Sheree’ Justus, for the love and care you provided for William during his final days. Also a thank you to his special caregivers: Diana Ellis and Lovie McKeel.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given his memory to Yelverton United Methodist Church, Attn: Pam, 3927 US Hwy. 13 North, Goldsboro, NC 27534 or to Gideon’s International, Goldsboro North Camp, P.O. Box 10093, Goldsboro, NC 27530
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.seymourfuneralhome.com.