Donald Keith Darnell

October 3rd, 1931February 20th, 2019

Donald K. Darnell, 87, died on February 20, 2019 at his home in Erie, Colo. with his best friend and loving wife Bonnie at his side.

Donald was born in Larned, Kans. on October 3, 1931 to James Albert and Maggie Lena (Young) Darnell. He spent his childhood in Nevada, Mo. and attended William Jewell College in Liberty Mo.  Donald served in the US Army from Sept. 1954 to Aug. 1956.  He earned the first PhD in Communication from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich. in 1964. Among many other publications he co-wrote, “Persons Communicating”, the defining study of Interpersonal Communication for its time.

This gentle, loving, caring and wonderful man has left a permanent mark etched on our hearts and will be supremely missed by his wife Bonnie; children Kel, (Marc McDonald) Boulder, Colo.; Diana, Tucson, Ariz.; Kim, Palo Alto, Calif. and Dan (Catherine Healy), Redwood City, Calif. from his first marriage; step daughter Linda Thompson, Lafayette; nine grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews.

Donald was a professor of Communication at the University of Colorado at Boulder from 1965 to 1996.  He was an avid gardener, voracious reader and patient fisherman.  He loved nothing more than to sit on the shore with his line in the water, read a mystery and bond with this family. Known as the family fix it man, he would take on anything that needed mending; if he didn’t know how he would figure it out. Ever patient he taught children and grandchildren to read, sing, cook, work on cars, and to love each other unconditionally.

He faced his final battle with liver cancer with grace and calmness conducting his final lesson in how to live well. He lives on in our hearts and souls.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Don's name to the Boulder Valley Humane Society, the American Heart Association, or to the Disabled American Veterans.

Services

A MEMORIAL SERVICE WILL BE WEDNESDAY, APRIL 3 AT 2:00 P.M. AT DARRELL HOWE MORTUARY IN LAFAYETTE, CO

Cemetery

Green Mountain Cemetery, Boulder, CO | Map

Location

Darrell Howe Mortuary | Map

Church

None

Condolences

Remember growing up listening to my Uncle Don's music and singing. He's the reason I bought my banjo. Drove his jeep for a week while in Boulder in 1968 after High School Graduation.. Found out years later that the brakes were bad, glad they held on . Spent a great day with him when we spent a few days in Boulder before going to the family reunion in Breckenridge , a day up in the mountains and Park areas. Great memories, Rest in Peace.. Tim