John “Jack” David Darnell

John “Jack” David Darnell 94 of Jeffrey City, WY died on January 13, 2021 at home in Jeffrey City, WY.

Funeral Services will be held at 1:00pm, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 at the Covenant Presbyterian Church, 875 Fremont St, Lander, WY 82520. Visitation will be 12:00 for Public on Friday Jan. 22, 2021 at the Church then Service at 1:00pm and burial in Mount Hope Cemetery, Lander.

John David “Jack” Darnell was born April 19, 1926 to Ralph McClure and Augusta (Williams) Darnell in Riverton WY.  Jack grew up in Lander and graduated from Fremont County Vocational High School on May 21, 1943.  He enlisted in the Marine Corp at 17 as “it’s what everyone was doing and he figured he should join the fray”.  He was shot by a sniper in the mouth, April of 1945 on Iwo Jima and received the Purple Heart Medal.  April of 1946 he was not quite 20yrs old, “with new false teeth and a clean bill of health” he was Honorably Discharged “he came home to chase cows”. 

He worked on the Pitchfork Ranch around Meeteetse, Grass Creek Ranch for Cousin Nate Brown and a short time worked for Husky Oil.  Jack married Geraldine “Jerry” Randall Nov. 11, 1949 and they had 3 children.   He also ranched on the Frank Turner ranch at Hyattville, WY then went to Glenrock, WY to work for Phillips Petroleum until the company moved to Texas.  Jack and Family then came to work for Clarence Grieve on the Sweetwater River (1957), then to the Flagg ranch (1963) for Lee Whitlock, then George and Donna Flagg (1966) on the Flagg ranch. The Flagg ranch (1967) was leased to Floyd Krebs and Jack became manager/partner for the next 21 yrs.  Jack retired from ranching by January 2001; but continued to help neighbors well into his nineties.

He was active in his community throughout the years with some highlights: In the ‘70s he was President of the Fremont County Cattleman’s Association.  From 1990-1996 he served as a Director on the Board of Hot Springs REA.  He was part of 2011 WWII Honor Flight to Washington, DC.  He received the Honor on May 12, 2015 in Lander for Jack Darnell Day for the City of Lander.   Jack served as Jeffrey City Weather observant from 1981; serving 31yrs.  He received in Nov of 2019 the Prestigious award (1of 5 in the nation) 2019 National Weather Service Jefferson Award for 31 years of excellent service to the nation’s climate observing network.  In 2020 He was nominated and became a Region 8 inductee in the Wyoming Cowboy Hall of Fame.

He was preceded in death by his Wife Geraldine Darnell, Son J. Dee Darnell and 2 infant sons; His Parents Augusta (Polly) and Ralph Darnell; Sisters Mary Hittle,  Anita Ellis and Brother Jim Darnell as well as great-great grandson Bentley Burch.

Jack is survived by: Son Roy and wife Linda Darnell of Thermopolis, WY; Daughter Polly Burch of Casper, WY and Daughter-in-Law Beckie Darnell of Jeffrey City, WY.

Jack has 14 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and 4 great-great-grandchildren with the 5th one due within 6 weeks.

Memorial Contributions may be mailed directly to VFW Post 954, 11 Tweed Lane, Lander, WY 82520 or Donor’s choice.