Richard Arlen Darden, Jr.

Richard Arlen Darden, Jr.

September 3, 2021, 58, Goldsboro –

Richard Arlen Darden, Jr., 58, passed away on Friday, September 3, 2021. Although his summons home was unexpected and seemed premature, we are no less rejoicing that he is seated at the throne of the Master, lifting praises on high and casting his crowns at the feet of Jesus. Richard was born in Wayne County to Barbara Pittman Darden and the late Richard Arlen Darden, Sr.

For Richard, there was no better hobby than enjoying God’s creation in nature. Whether hiking or kayaking, the solitude found in the breeze of the air, sights both simple and majestic, and the sounds of God’s creatures brought peace and contentment to his soul. As a young man, he pursued this passion by traveling to Alaska and camping all the way. Upon arrival, he began work with the fishing cannery to pay expenses during his travel.

While working at his first job with the Goldsboro News-Argus, Richard met Angela Kissinger, whom he soon fell in love with and asked her to be his wife. Shortly thereafter, she became Mrs. Angela Darden, and was the center of his universe for nearly 31 years. Richard considered his life with her and their girls the biggest blessing he ever received. All moments with them were his favorite. He very much enjoyed game night, particularly when he was winning. He was the master at Phase 10, and everyone knew it.

As a hands-on kind of man, Richard delighted in tackling home projects himself. From tasks intended to increase the character of their home to working on hand-made items with his wife creating gifts for each other and friends, Richard enjoyed the creativity he poured into the countless hours of work.

Possessing great artistic ability, Richard could paint anything. He pursued his Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree in painting, and went on to earn his teaching certificate. Richard also held an associate’s degree in Criminal Justice. He had a deep passion for music and art, which served him well in his most recent post as the Creative Director at The First Pentecostal Holiness Church, Goldsboro. His ability to take anything and make an exquisite masterpiece was incomparable. When he was the least bit doubtful about anything he created, he was sure to make it a little better by adding Gorilla Tape—the best creation man has ever made.

Richard was the epitome of the greatest girl-dad. From support at cheerleading events and ballgames to attending every dance recital, piano recital, praise band competitions, and cheering on his girls, he was in his element and beamed with pride each time one of his daughters was expressing her talents. Simple moments around the house were just as cherished as he would roll and tumble with the girls when they were young while Angie played the piano. Richard also found much peace and contentment in listening to his wife and daughters play the piano. Although standing tall and having arms that reached the wingspan of an eagle, the amount of love encapsulated in his body was unfathomable. His huge heart held an endless amount of love for his family.

A service to celebrate Richard’s life will be held on Wednesday, September 8, 2021 at 3:00 p.m. in the sanctuary of The First Pentecostal Holiness Church with Pastor John Howard officiating. Interment will follow in Evergreen Memorial Cemetery. The family will not have a time of visitation prior to the service but will be available following the service at the cemetery. Attendees are asked to follow all COVID protocols which include wearing a face covering and practicing social distancing.

Richard is survived by his wife of almost 31 years, Angela Kissinger Darden; daughters, Hannah Darden Millard and husband Trey and Kaylin Rebekah Darden; and he was anticipating the birth of his first grandchild and being called Pappy. In addition to his mother, he is also survived by his sister, Dee Darden Warrick and husband Tommy and their children, Garrett and Mallory Warrick; mother-in-law and father-in-law, Jesse and Pat Kissinger; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Michael and Maria Kissinger and Bobby and Vickie Sparks; nieces, Sarah Payne (David) and Lindsey Gregg (Matt); special cousins that he loved as his own sisters, Gail Elmore (Bill) and Dana Potter (Chris); an aunt and several other cousins he loved very much.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the R-12 Ministry at The First Church, 1100 The First Church Road, Goldsboro, NC 27534 or to Emerge Ministries, Stoney Creek O.F.W.B. Church, 752 Stoney Creek Church Road, Goldsboro, NC 27534.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at