James “Jim” H. Darnell

August 21, 1945 - January 27, 2024

08/21/1945 - 01/27/2024

Past Services

Tuesday January 30, 2024
Forest Lawn Funeral Memorial Park
538 Tracy Grove Road
Hendersonville, NC 28792
Tuesday January 30, 2024
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Balfour Baptist Church
Asheville Hwy
Hendersonville, NC 28791
Funeral Service
Tuesday January 30, 2024
2:00 pm
Balfour Baptist Church
Asheville Hwy
Hendersonville, NC 28791

James “Jim” Harrison Darnell, 78, passed away peacefully, with family at his side Saturday, January 27, 2024, at his home in Hendersonville, NC.

Jim was born August 21, 1945 in Henderson County and was a lifelong resident of the area.  He was 1 of 5 children.  As the oldest of the male children, Jim often assumed the role of being the “man of the house” when his dad was away for work.  He also began working in the tomato and bean fields at the early age of 8 years old. Jim learned quickly how to “take care of himself”.  This helped him become the hard working, honest, loyal and Christian man that he was.  Jim was the one you could always depend on if you needed help.

At 16, Jim met the love of his life.  Little did he know that 3 years later she would say “I do” and the next chapter of their lives would begin.  He and Emily spent the next 59 years together and raised 2 sons.   Jim was employed at General Electric, where he ran the engineering lab, for 34 years.  After retiring he volunteered at Clear Creek Elementary where he spent many hours working with special needs students.  He also drove a bus for many of the Henderson County schools.

Jim’s love of children was very evident when it came to his family.  He always found time to attend his children’s and eventually grandchildren’s/great grandchildren’s school, sports, music, and dance activities.  He was also known to go pick up the occasional lunch and take it to one of the grandsons at school simply because they didn’t like what was being served at school.  After retiring, he became a coach for his grandsons’ shooting teams.  He was influential in not only their lives and education on the range, but countless other kids.  His dedication to the sport and the kids lasted for several years beyond his grandsons’ time on the team.

Due to his own life struggles, Jim was led to mentor others through the Celebrate Recovery program at Biltmore Baptist Church.  He served for several years during which time he helped others find their way and grow closer to the Lord.  He felt privileged to serve at Balfour Baptist Church as a deacon and Sunday school director.  Jim was also a fixture in the kitchen during Bible School where he helped and kept the ladies in line.  It was his delight to always fix a ham for those times when people were in need of comfort and support.  Everyone always thought Emily was the one who fixed the hams until the cat was let out of the bag!

Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Mac and Louise Bradley Darnell, sisters Linda McCall, Nancy Gibbs, and Mary Ann Darnell and brother John Darnell.

Jim is survived by his wife Emily of more than 59 years along with 2 sons Rusty (Stephanie) and Phillip (Lisa).  He is also survived by 6 grandchildren; Stephen (Rachel), William (Rebecca), Patrick (Courtney), Peyton, Carlie Floyd (Sabrina) and Benjamin Floyd (Kelsey) and 9 great grandchildren; Audrey, Allie, Mason, Lilly, Wrenley (arriving in May), Charlton, Aidan, Christian, Avery, as well as several nieces and nephews. He has too many friends and family to mention, but know that he loved and appreciated you.

Jim was simply the best husband, dad/pop, and Grandad ever and he will be greatly missed.

Visitation will be held on Tuesday, January 30 from 1:00 – 2:00 pm at Balfour Baptist Church with a funeral service to follow beginning at 2:00 pm.  Burial will be at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Hendersonville at the conclusion of the service.

Pallbearers are:  Stephen Darnell, William Darnell, Patrick Darnell, Matt Bradley, Baron Gibbs, “little” Donnie Heatherly. Honorary pallbearers are:  Donnie Heatherly, Russ Branche, Robbie Crain, and the Deacons of Balfour Baptist Church

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Balfour Baptist Church, Hendersonville, NC.

The family would like to thank everyone and express their deepest appreciation for all the love and support during this time.  They would especially like to thank Dr. Randy Tryon for being by their side every step of the way and for the love and care he has shown Jim and Emily over the last 38 years.  The family would also like to thank Dr. Kim and his staff at Grace Hematology for their care and support during the last year of Jim’s life.  The family feels truly blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful people.

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Ken and Anita Henry
22 days ago

We were honored to attend and serve with Emily and Jim at Celebrate Recovery at Biltmore Church. They were some of the first to welcome us into the fold and made a long lasting impact on our lives. Emily we love you and you are in our prayers.
Ken and Anita Henry.

Gloria Williams
22 days ago

I met Jim and Emily thru Stephen and Rachel Darnell when they got married almost 9 years ago. Jim and Emily were the sweetest couple I have ever met. He will be missed by all especially his family and friends. He left behind grandchildren and great grandchildren that loved him dearly, a good Christian granddad to them. My prayers are with the entire family.

Denise Dunlap
22 days ago

Keeping all of you in our thoughts & prayers now and in the days ahead. Doug & Denise Dunlap

Kimberly Brigman Carland
23 days ago

So sorry for the passing of Jim. He will be missed. But his memory will be that he was one fine man. You all are a very Blessed family. I was honored to be his friend and Barber for all these years. I will always remember the great advice he would give me. For Life and for riding those motorcycles. My continued thoughts and prayers for you all.

Michelle Nelson Mosley
23 days ago

Words of comfort sometimes are never enough, thoughts and prayers of love and encouragement and peace help with the passing of time. Memories of daily life and special times and the presence of his love will be the glue that will hold the family together in this very trying time. My love and eternal thanks for letting me be part of your family all these years. Love Shell

Lois R Petersen
24 days ago

I was blessed to serve alongside Jim at Biltmore Celebrate Recovery and I can attest to the difference that he made in the lives of countless people that passed through our doors. Jim was true to the end in his services to God and to others. My life has been forever impacted for the better by the testimony of this man and his wife Emily.

Shane Bradley
24 days ago

To all the family I am so sorry to hear about James. May God bless all of you at this time. I was honored to be able to help you all at Forest Lawn. Love and prayers