Devern Darnell age 97 of Lodi, passed away peacefully on January 6, 2013.
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He was born February 25, 1915 in Lodonia, Texas. As Devern was growing up, his family lived in Oregon, Colorado and California. In 1939 Devern married Frances "Frankie" Spindler. He served in the Army during WW2 as a combat medic in le Shima and Okinawa, Japan from 1943 to 1946. Returning home after the war, Devern opened a Standard station and garage in Cedarville, CA. and later moved to Alturas opening a Texaco station, In 1952, Devern moved his family to Lodi. He purchased a Texaco station on the corner of Walnut and School Street and later moved his business to the corner of Highway 99 and Kettleman Lane. He eventually relocated his business to Hutchins Street and Kettleman Lane, under the name of "Darnell ARCO", where he remained until his retirement.
After 44 years of marriage, Devern lost Frances due to an auto related accident. In 1983 Devern and Cleo Gilliland married and were married eight years until her death. Devern and Melva Lind were married from 1991 until his passing.
Devern was known for his ARCO gas station were he employed many students during the summers. He was a mechanic but wouldn't hesitate to stop what he was doing to help fix a bicycle tire. He loved to garden and grew fruits trees, grapes, berries, along with an array of vegetables. Devern was an active member in the Lockeford SDA Church.
Devern is survived by his wife Melva, daughter Marlene Sanford, daughter Beverly Follett (Bob), son Ron Darnell (Sue), grandchildren Kari McKinney (Scott), Steve Sanford (Jenny), Brandon Follett, Kimberly Torrey (Bobby), Jodie Darnell, Dustin Darnell (Robyn), Elizabeth Darnell and six great grandchildren.
A Celebration of Life will be held at the Lockeford SDA Church on February 2 at 3:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Lodi Academy Student Worthy Fund, 1230 S. Central Ave, Lodi CA 95240.
Published in Lodi News-Sentinel from Jan. 18 to Jan. 25, 2013