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Robert Elston Darnell

December 27, 1939 February 28, 2021
Robert Elston Darnell
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Obituary for Robert Elston Darnell

Robert Elston Darnell was born December 27, 1939, in Montgomery, Alabama to Robert Henry Darnell and Hazel Marie (Sarber) Darnell. Having opted for comfort care Robert (Bob) left us on February 28, 2021, while in Peace Hospice due to stage 4 pancreatic cancer and liver cancer.

Survivors include his niece, Annette Stubblefield Bonner of Deatsville, Alabama and three nephews, Walter Stubblefield of Vinegar Bend, Alabama, Timothy Salter of Wetumpka, Alabama, and James Salter, Jr. of Knoxville, Tennessee.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Betty Salter and Jean Stubblefield; and by his beloved pets, Fifi and Mitzi.

Bob moved to Montana in the mid 1970’s and felt he had found his true home. He loved winter and cold weather and spent the rest of his life in Great Falls. He was a proud union painter (Local 260) and worked for the City of Great Falls until his retirement in 2000. During this time Bob found a true soul mate in Mary Elting and became a treasured member of the family. Bob and Mary often traveled to Lake Powell and spent time with the extended family on a houseboat.

When Mary’s health began to decline, Bob became her full-time caregiver until her passing in 2009.They were devoted to each other. Bob (eventually nicknamed “Uncle Fuzzy” because of his full beard) was a treasured family friend and Godfather to Mary’s granddaughter Katie. In the years that followed, Bob loved to travel and spent much time in Mexico with Mary’s daughters. Bob loved Puerto Vallarta and Cancun. As long as he avoided the sun and had a margarita or vodka tonic available, he was good. He also traveled to Delaware with his dog, Mitzi in tow, spending time with Debi and James Hautala and taking full advantage of the region’s seafood cuisine.

In retirement, Bob found his artistic calling. Already a gifted craftsman that included wall papering, Bob became a stained glass artist of national renown having his work featured in “The Association of Stained Glass Lamp Artists” 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010 calendars. In 2001, Bob and fellow artist Marty Andrews gifted to the City of Great Falls the gorgeous stained glass panels that grace Gibson Park. Reaching back to his roots, Bob also did a stained glass panel entitled “Lorelei” for the then Governor of Alabama, Don Siegelman.

Bob will be missed by his “Divas,” a group of dear friends who lunched several times a week. Although all of us now have a great void in our lives, there are the many memories of Bob that will help fetch a smile to accompany the tears.

Bob’s remains have been sent home to Alabama to be inurned alongside his sisters, Jean Stubblefield and Betty Salter. A family service in Alabama will be scheduled for a later date.

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