With loving family and friends by her side, Darlene Henry Tribby died peacefully at Hendersonville’s Elizabeth House on Tuesday, September 5, 2023. Known for her unyielding faith in Almighty God, Darlene made educating North Carolina’s next generation of young people her life’s passion.
In Darlene’s world, the greatest career a person can choose is the noble profession of teaching. So, she became an elementary school educator. Darlene made patience and empathy the core principles of her instruction, knowing that each student had a unique set of gifts and challenges.
Known as “Mrs. Tribby” by her students, Darlene’s effective teaching style made a student feel like the only person in the classroom. As a direct result of Darlene’s influence, educators worldwide are now serving and improving their communities.
Born November 19, 1954 in Elkins, West Virginia and then relocating to Locust, North Carolina in the 10th grade, Darlene never forgot her “raising and upbringing,” as taught by her mother and father.
After graduating from Greensboro College, Darlene quickly built a reputation for being “My Favorite Teacher.” She went on to receive her master’s degree in education at Western Carolina University.
The only role more important to Darlene was that of being a mother to her son, Nathan.
Darlene was named “Teacher of the Year” at Bruce Drysdale Elementary and at Hendersonville Elementary as she conducted her work at the highest professional level.
Darlene’s enjoyment of singing brought husband, Brian, and her together. The result was their marriage on April 6, 1996.
Darlene’s community involvement was unsurpassed. She and Brian sang with the Carolina Concert choir for 25 years and also loved singing with the Flat Rock Playhouse Chorus.
If she wasn’t teaching and instructing, Darlene was to be found on a tennis court, facilitating retirement lunches and volunteering. Pickleball was a late-breaking interest.
Community-based organizations benefited from Darlene and Brian’s volunteerism. Included in their participation were The Fed Cup, The Grapple Wrestling Tournament, The Gala Gymnastics Tournament, The Gran Fondo Bicycle Race, The Billie Jean King Cup, The Apple Open Tennis Tournament, The Southern Conference Basketball Tournament, as well as many events at the Tryon International Equestrian Center.
For many years, Darlene was a board member of the local USTA, the governing body for tennis.
Darlene loved her country and her state! She influenced her community by advocating for America’s founding principles of faith and freedom.
As a devoted member of Hendersonville Church of Christ, Darlene was known for her deep and abiding faith.
Darlene Tribby is survived by Brian Scott Tribby (husband), Nathan Robert Tucker (son) and Stephen James Tucker (son-in-law), Gary Lee Henry (brother) and his wife Marlene Smith Henry.
Darlene was preceded in death by Harold “Hank” Henry (father), Virginia Loop Henry (mother) and Donna Jean Henry (sister). She selflessly devoted five years to caring for her mother, who suffered a stroke.
As she would sit and crochet countless family names for friends, Darlene continually said that if she could beat the cancer, she would be afforded more time to serve God on earth. If cancer, however, ended her life, then she’d see God much sooner in all of His glory. “To live is Christ. To die is Gain!”
It was said that “Darlene Tribby is everyone’s friend.” The greatest compliment one could be paid is to be introduced as “My Friend” by Darlene. Her smile was beautiful, and she brought joy to everyone that she met.
Indeed, at each of her cancer treatment visits, Darlene would make it a point to sit with first-time patients, individually reassuring them that they were not alone. Darlene would then bring to all of the staff food or gifts at each visit.
And now, she is hearing her God say, “Well done, Darlene, My good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with what I gave you! Come and share your Master’s happiness!”
A Celebration of Darlene’s incredible life is scheduled for Sunday, October 8th at 3:00pm at the Hendersonville First Baptist Church, 312 5th Ave West, Hendersonville, NC 28739. Visitation with the family will begin at 2:00pm at the church.
Much appreciation and many thanks to the caregivers and staff at Hope Women’s Cancer Center, Mission Hospital, Pardee Hospital and Elizabeth House for the excellent care given to Darlene during her illness.
In lieu of flowers, Darlene requested that contributions be made to Palmetto Bible camp (www.pbc.camp) and Southeastern Children’s Home (sech.org).