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Aaron Donald Darnell


1933 - 2019
Aaron Donald Darnell Obituary
Aaron Donald Darnell

Deming - Aaron D. "Don" Darnell, went to the big traffic jam in the sky on Saturday September 14, 2019.

A graveside service will be Friday September 27, 2019 at 2 o'clock in the afternoon at Ft. Bayard National Cemetery. Family will officiate and veteran's honors will be accorded.

Don was born to Armitt and Helen Darnell in April 1933 at Mt. Holly, NJ. He completed all his elementary schooling in one room schoolhouse in Pennsylvania. He also attended one year of high school in Dover, PA. His formative years were spent on a farm. His family moved to Roswell, NM in May 1947 after his father retired form Greyhound Lines. Don graduated from Roswell H.S., class of 1950. Don attended Eastern New Mexico University for two and a half years and then transferred to New Mexico A&M (NMSU) where he received his degree in Civil Engineering in June 1955.

Upon graduation Don was hired by the Los Angeles County Road Department, However, he immediately received his draft notice. He completed basic training at Ft. Ord, CA, then onto Ft. Leonard Wood, MO for some advanced training and finally to Pusan, Korea where he spent fourteen months with the 42nd Engineering Utility Detachment (Post Engineers). He was separated from the U.S. Army at Ft. Lewis, WA in July 1957. After a short vacation he returned to his job in L.A. County.

In October 1958 he was hired as Assistant City Traffic Engineer for Riverside, CA. In July 1962, Don was promoted to City Traffic Engineer when his boss left for NY City. He remained in that position until October 1973. During his employment with Riverside he received his Masters in Public Administration degree from the University of Southern California in June 19736.In October of that year he was appointed as Transportation Administrator for Tucson, AZ. He remained in that position until July 1976 when he decided to go into private business. He owned and operated an auto parts store in Tucson from 1976-1977. He was the manager of the Tucson Trap & Skeet Club from 1977-1978. Trap shooting was one of his favorite hobbies.

In October 1978 Don decided that he missed the traffic engineering world and was appointed as Regional Traffic Engineer for Thurston County, WA along with the cities of Tumwater and Lacey, WA. This was the first such position authorized in the USA and was funded by a Federal Highway Administration grant.

After the grant expired in January 1981, Don remained as County Traffic Engineer until August 1981 when he decided the damp climate in that part WA was not to his liking and was appointed City Traffic Engineer of Chico, CA. Don remained in that position until July 1983, when he was appointed City Transportation Engineer for Salinas, CA. In June 1993 Don became the Traffic Engineer for Engineers, Inc. in Silver City. Don moved to Deming when the firm opened a Deming office. Don retired from that firm in July 1997. This culminated 40 years of Traffic Engineering experience.

Don was a life member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Institute of Transportation Engineers. Don was a Registered Professional Engineer (Traffic) in CA. He was also a life member of the Amateur Trapshooting Association, the Tucson Trap & Skeet Club and the Evergreen Gun Club, Littlerock, WA. At the time of his death Don was a certified Hunter Education Instructor in New Mexico. Don had also been a certified hunter education instructor in Arizona, Washington and California. In his younger days he was a longtime member of the Jaycees and Toastmasters.

Don is survived by his spouse Hope, of the home, and five children from a previous marriage. Paul and wife Paula of Tucson, AZ. Diana McMaster and husband Ron of Chico, CA Sandra Darnell of Chico, CA. Scott Darnell and wife Patty of Casa Grande, AZ, Alan Darnell of Long Prairie, MN, plus five grandchildren.
Published in Deming Headlight on Sept. 20, 2019
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