Born to Dargan and Hazel (Reese) Marr on November 7, 1939 in Ashville, North Carolina, Dargan Junior grew up learning to hunt and fish, with the Appalachian Mountains as his playground. Following the sudden death of his father, Dargan moved with his mother and younger sister, Sharon, to Washington DC where his maternal grandmother owned a boarding house. It is here in the nation's capitol, as a 12 year old, that he fell in love with art and history, spending many afternoons wandering through the national art galleries and museums.
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In 1958, Dargan graduated from McClean High School in Falls Church, Virginia. He went on to attend the University of Wyoming, fulfilling his dream of hunting and fishing in the high country while graduating with a double major in history and English in 1963.
Following college, Dargan enlisted in the United States Air Force, volunteering for two tours of duty in Vietnam. He received an honorable discharge at the rank of Captain after six years of service.
Dargan's post military career was multifaceted. Moving with his first wife, Louise Graham, to Viola, Idaho, Dargan attended the University of Idaho to earn his teaching degree. He then taught high school in the Moscow School District for 16 years, starting the first in-school vocational program for students with special needs. He later ventured into regular education, teaching both english and history.
Towards the end of his teaching career, Dargan met his future wife, Diane Dempsey, who was interning as a school psychologist. They married on the cliffs of Shore Acres overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Oregon on July 26, 1985. Two days after their first anniversary, the blended family welcomed Jacob Reese, joining siblings Shannon, Jason, and Dina.
Dargan was a lifelong learner, amazing his family with his in-depth knowledge of all things connected to nature. He studied the cooking techniques of Julia Childs and blessed others with sumptuous meals cooked with loving and expert hands. As a self taught and multitalented artist, Dargan created beautiful watercolor paintings, wooden gallery bowls, carvings, and collector knives.
Dargan showed great courage as he dealt with a long and progressive illness that ultimately claimed his life on July 6, 2014. Throughout this final journey he remained connected to life and learning, surrounded by the beauty of all things Skagit. He felt especially blessed to be in the company of his family and friends. Dargan blessed all who knew him with a kind heart and an eagerness to serve. Although we earnestly grieve the loss of Dargan's gentle presence among us, we are comforted by the knowledge that he now rests, pain free and breathing easy, in the arms of his Savior. Until we meet again, we hold close all that Dargan was, and all that he inspired us to be.
Dargan is survived by his wife of 28 years, Diane Dempsey Marr, PhD of Anacortes, WA; daughters Shannon Nicole Marr and Magentah Golden of Eugene, OR; son Jason Dargan Marr and daughter Jill Snyder Marr of Bellevue, WA; daughter Dina Marie Horn of Rolla, MO; son Jacob Reese Marr and daughter Amanda Dee Ehnes Marr of Eugene, OR; ; and granddaughters Rhiannon Maricle of Eugene, OR, and Selina Lett, Arianna Horn, and Emma Horn all of Rolla, MO.
Internment service at Tahoma National Cemetery will be held on August 22, 2014 at 11:00AM. All who wish to celebrate Dargan's life and honor a Vietnam veteran are welcome.
Memorials are suggested to Anacortes Family Center, PO Box 681, Anacortes, WA 98221 Family and friends are encouraged to share memories and condolences at www.whidbeymemorial.com.
Published in Skagit Valley Herald Publishing Company on July 11, 2014