Joseph E. Darby
1929 - 2020
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Joseph E. Darby, 91, passed away peacefully on Sunday, September 6th, 2020. Joe was born in Chicago on June 26, 1929, and was preceded in death by his loving wife Elaine, who passed in 2016. Joe and Elaine ran a very successful sailboat dealership in Chicago for over 30 years, and Joe remained an avid sailor his entire life. He was loved and respected by his peers in the business, as well as by the many customers he serviced. Joe had resided in an assisted living facility in Chicago, and was among close friends when he passed away. He will be missed by his friends both in and out of the boat business.

Visitation will be on Friday, September, 11, 2020 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Kolbus-May Funeral Home, 6857 W. Higgins Ave., Chicago. Chapel service will be at 11:30 a.m. with interment to follow at Queen of Heaven Cemetery. For info, 773-774-3232 or

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Published in Chicago Tribune on Sep. 9, 2020.
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19 entries
September 17, 2020
Joe Darby was affectionately known as the “legend”. For his prowess in business and some might say on the water as well. I had the benefit of long conversations with Joe and Elaine at their Archer location during the course of buying the business from them. I remember his sharp wit and his impish grin as he looked over his glasses with a cold beverage in front of him. You could never leave with just one. I’m sad to have missed his services as I just learned of his passing today. I’m sure he and Elaine are are enjoying a beverage and in each other’s company once again. Fair winds and trailing seas Joe you will live in in the stories of the famous “legend”.
Lou Sandoval
September 16, 2020
Well Skipper, I wish you fair winds and following seas! May St. Christopher guide your way. Paul Foszcz, Mainsail Trimmer, on your last race boat, Findar.
Paul Foszcz
September 13, 2020
Thank you for the amazing adventures in Chicago. Visiting Aunt Elaine and Uncle Joe was always exciting! It was like a new world for me to explore. I made some really great memories with some really great people. I guess thats why my parents named me after them. You will always be loved and missed! Elaina Jo (Redmon) Sedivy
Elaina Sedivy
September 12, 2020
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family .I remember having the opportunity to go to their house and meeting your Aunt And Uncle was a great memory for me and you are blessed with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.
Love and light
Roxanne, Kevin, and Brennen Connolly
Roxanne Connolly
September 11, 2020
Sad day to find out my best friend's uncle died. The world lost a kind and loving man who left his family with lots of treasured memories. RIP Uncle Joe. You will be truly missed!
Kim Mikyska
September 11, 2020
Uncle Joe was very loved and will be missed greatly.
Sandra Sempek
September 10, 2020
Uncle Joe, I’m writing this in memory of my father, who was Joe’s real Uncle. Maybe that’s why my brother and I call him Uncle Joe! My father, Louis Redmon and Uncle Joe where very close and spent a lot of there young adult life together. He was best-man at my mom and dads wedding( I think that means they where pretty good buddies!)
They always stayed in touch with each other family, but Lou being in Northern Michigan and Joe in Chicago we didn’t see each other that often. When we did get together it was always a great time!
One other note, a lot of people have written about Joe’a sailing skills, which him and Elaine where very good at. There was another passion of there’s, both he and Elaine where very good at. It helped them travel the world over. They where both National Sky Patrollers and they loved to snow sky while the ice was on the pond. They where year around outdoor
Last year we had the privilege of Jose bringing Joe to Northern Michigan for his last trip to our great state, which Joe loved! We of coarse had a few toties, lots of jokes , laughter and some old stories. Thanks to Jose, for making it happen and especially Joe for sharing his life with us.
May you Rest In Peace Joe ,with all your loved ones who have gone before you.
My father( Louis Redmon)
Jeff and Kathy Redmon ❤
Jeff Redmon
September 10, 2020
To the good old days.(72 years ago) You were best man at our wedding.From that time on YOU and Uncle Lou showed me Chicago in many ways I’ll never forget. You are still the BEST MAN.
Love. Auntie
(Jerse) Joyce
Joyce Redmon
September 10, 2020
Eternal Affection Arrangement- BASKET INCLUDED
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Miguel Aguilera
September 10, 2020
Eternal rest grant unto Joseph O Lord. May the perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and all the souls of the faithfully departed by the Devine Mercy of God Rest In Peace Amen. Marty & Lucy Peterson (friends of Barb & Bernie Smith)
Marty & Lucy Peterson
September 10, 2020
So sorry to hear of your loss. My heart goes out to you.
September 10, 2020
Uncle Joe was an amazing man! I loved listening to his many stories, he had quite the escapades! As a child the highlight of my summers was spending time with Aunt Elaine & Uncle Joe. I split my time between helping Aunt Elaine in the office and cleaning boats at the boatyard/harbor and running errands with Uncle Joe. When work was complete Uncle Joe made time to take me out on the lake sailing. He was able to turn his passion for sailing into a successful business, becoming BENETEAU top U.S. dealership multiple times! Uncle Joe will be missed, it consoling to know that Aunt Elaine, Ma, (Joe’s mother Georgetta), my mom, (Joe’s sister Nancy) & my dad (Joe’s brother in-law Bill) were waiting for him with open arms and a fresh Manhattan!

Crossing The Bar

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For though from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.
Alfred Lord Tennyson
Barbara Roberts Smith
September 10, 2020
So many fond memories of Uncle Joe and Aunt Elaine almost all on a boat. Every time I think of Lake Michigan I always think of him and the family sailing which he loved so much. So many good memories out on the lake that I will always remember. I've known Uncle Joe my whole life and I am sad to see him go but I know he had a great life and is with his family who went before him. You will be greatly missed.
Elizabeth Roberts
September 10, 2020
Joe was a huge mentor. Many summers, honeymoon, family vacations were spent with Joe and Elaine.
I am now 65, as young as 14 i flew from Northern Michigan to Chicago to work and play with the Darby's.
Spent my honeymoon as well as family vacations with Joe, Elaine ,and Jose.
You were a fine representation of a person. Loved you dearly.
Since moving away to Alaska are visiting changed to phone visits.
You meant the world to me and my family.
Chicago-Maciknac sailboat races, working in the shop, bootlegging booze to Michigan, and just listening to all the wisdom and knowledge he gave.
Always called cousin Joe, I Uncle Joe. Love and respect The Jim Redmon family ❤
Jim Redmon
September 9, 2020
Uncle Joe was the best. I just spoke with him last week and he was so wishing that he would be able to get out on the boat at least once before the season ended. He was telling me stories as he always does about some family history. I know Aunt Elaine was waiting for him with open arms along with Ma , Mom and Dad.
Patty Roberts Schroeder
September 9, 2020
Joe always had some great stories to tell, he had a very kind heart and loved his boats. I miss the days of spending the holidays with him and Elaine. They will forever be in our hearts.
Bernie Smith
September 9, 2020
Joe was loved by all! He and Elaine were the nicest couple I enjoyed knowing in Oak Park Ski Club. Always friendly and helpful. He will be missed by many!
Joy Paddersen Carren
September 9, 2020
If Joe was in the army , stationed at Fort Riley Kansas, I was with him in the fall of 1953. We had several good friends, I was waiting to be discharged, Joe was Chaplains assistant, we had the sergeant-major of the post, another in the Post office and I worked Western Union. Joe and Elaine would have us over for a couple beers and pizza. They were a great couple. We visited several times after he got out, but then lost touch. As I remember, he was a sign painter then. Lots of good laughs and fond memories.
September 9, 2020
Joe was a great guy. He was that guy who always had a good story, a great joke, and time for 'one more' that would always be shared with a smile. I learned a great deal from him while purchasing his business back in 2000-. He was always willing to share his knowledge of, and love for, sailing and sailboats with newcomers. He and Elaine were quite a couple: she ran the business and he would win over the customer and make them friends for life. They always had an extra beer and a little time to spend with anyone who wanted to chat. He will be missed. I imagine that he and Elaine are back together, prepping for a relaxing sail, followed by some skiing.
Jack Buoscio
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