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Alice Patricia Fewell Darby (Pat) died at her home Sunday, May 22. She is survived by her son, Thomas Edward Darby, III (Gwendolyn), and grandson, Thomas Edward Darby, IV of Mechanicsville; another son, Hal Steele Darby (Wendy), and grandchildren, Matthew and Abigail of Raleigh, NC; a daughter, Louisa Phillips Darby Jones (Lit), and grandson, Joshua (Jaclyn); and a daughter, Jeanne Bradford Darby Hubbard (Paul), and grandchildren, Joel, Jonathan, and Anna. She is also survived by her husband’s siblings, Franklin (Lydia), Dana, Bruce, and Sarah Jane Katchorek, and Linda Guabelly, as well as many cousins, nephews, and nieces.
She was the daughter of Hal Steele Fewell, Sr. of Edgefield, SC and Alice Gertrude Peecksen of Charleston, SC. She graduated valedictorian from Summerville High School in SC and was the second female graduate of the Medical University of South Carolina at the College of Charleston. A biology major working in research as a medical technician on graduation, Miss Pat was the first woman in SC to use an electron microscope.
After her marriage in 1961 to Thomas Edward Darby, Jr (Ted), the Navy moved them to CA, SC, MA, and VA. They ultimately settled in Poquoson in 1973 where Ted and Pat retired in 1977 and raised their children who all graduated from Poquoson High School.
Miss Pat’s hobbies included playing the piano, playing handbells, as well as multiple brass instruments. She was a prolific community volunteer with the Peninsula Food Bank, Poquoson Board of Elections, Girl Scouts in MA and VA, and finally at PHS with drama, chorus, and band, which earned her a coveted seat in Poquoson’s Order of the Bull Pen. Pat told the best stories of growing up in South Carolina, attending “The College,” and the life of being a military wife raising four wild children while her husband was safe in Vietnam. She is famous for saying, “it doesn’t matter if the story is completely true, as long as it is entertaining.” We call those “Mom facts.”
Miss Pat remained active in her children’s and grandchildren’s lives supporting them in their many and varied activities: science fair projects board displays, running lines for plays, finding the right rhyme or rhythm for a poetry assignment, quilting, Dungeons and Dragons, Scouts, music, sports and church. She is a founding mother of the River Country Quilters where she and her daughters made quilts for survivors of hurricane Isabel in 2003. She helped her sons by creating stories for D&D avatars. She was generous with her time and love in the care of her grandchildren while her children began their careers. She carried us all to music lessons, applauded enthusiastically at performances and showered us with praise and encouragement when nerves took over.
Pat was a founding member and pillar of St. Timothy’s Anglican Church, Poquoson, where she made prayer shawls, soup suppers, personally carpooled for those who could not drive to service, and watched her grandchildren and their friends grow up serving at the altar, singing in a choir, or climbing trees after services.
The family will receive friends at the Claytor Rollins Funeral home at 836 Poquoson Avenue, from 4-6 pm this Friday, May 27. The funeral will be held at 11 am Saturday at St Timothy’s Church in Poquoson, followed by a graveside burial at St. John’s Episcopal Church cemetery, both officiated by the Revd Dr. Paul Hubbard, her son-in-law.
In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to the Poquoson Volunteer Rescue Squad as they provide our community such faithful and loving service for our elderly when they fall. You may also send donations to St. Timothy’s Anglican Church at PO Box 2039, Poquoson, VA 23662, in Memory of Pat Darby, where they will continue work at church and in the community made possible by her generous contributions over the years.
Funeral arrangements are handled by Claytor Rollins Funeral Home of Poquoson.
Online condolences may be made to www.claytorrollins.com.
Poquoson Volunteer Rescue Squad
P.O. Box 2099, Poquoson VA 23662
St. Timothy’s Anglican Church
PO Box 2039, Poquoson VA 23662