William Alfred “Bill” Darnell, local veteran, passes away.

Published 4:43 pm Wednesday, December 12, 2018

William Alfred “Bill” Darnell, 74, of Ocean Springs passed away Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018.

Bill was born August 31, 1944, at Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, Georgia. He was a longtime resident of Batesville, Miss., and after retirement moved to Ocean Springs to be closer to family.

Bill graduated from Lowndes County High School in Valdosta, Ga., and went on to earn his degree from Louisiana State University School of Banking. Bill served his country by enlisting in the United States Air Force in 1963 and volunteered to serve two tours in the Vietnam War.

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He was a decorated combat veteran who earned the rank of Sargent while serving with the elite 454th/320th Bomb Wing, “Iron Dukes”, Strategic Air Command. Conducting sensitive missions such as Operation “ARC LIGHT” over the skies of Vietnam.

After honorably serving his country Bill transitioned to his civilian career in banking. He served as President of United Southern Bank of Batesville and retired as Vice President of First Security Bank of Batesville. He was active in his career and remained into retirement by serving his community in The Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce and Presbyterian Church of Batesville.

He was an active member at First Presbyterian Church of Ocean Springs where he was a founding member of the Helping Hands Ministry, which is committed to assist those in or around the community who need help in a time of difficulty.

He was an avid fisherman and loved to fly fish. He was a true lover of baseball and Mickey Mantle was his all- time hero.

Bill is preceded in death by his parents, Alfred Raymond Darnell and Louise Jackson Darnell and brother Kenny Wayne Darnell of Valdosta, Ga.

Bill leaves behind his beloved wife of 51 years Gay, son Duff and daughter Dana Rubenstein (Ryan). Bill’s pride and joy were his two grandsons, Cooper and Nash. Cooper loved his “Bill Bill” dearly and saw him as his hero. Nash will forever cherish countless memories spent in the shed with his very special “Da”.

Services will be held at the First Presbyterian Church of Ocean Springs on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018 at noon.  Friends may visit one hour prior starting at 11:00. Interment will follow at the Biloxi National Cemetery.   

In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully asks for donations to be made in Bill’s memory to the following  organizations: Combat Wounded Veterans of South Mississippi, Biloxi;

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis; or First Presbyterian Church, Ocean Springs