Darrell Delano Penrod, 77, of Smiths Station, AL, passed away surrounded by his loving family on October 14, 2014 at Bethany House in Auburn.
Darrell was born on April 5, 1937 in Vienna, Illinois (Johnson County). He is the son of Darrell Samuel Penrod and Sybil Marie (Lingle) Penrod.
Darrell graduated from Evanston Township High School and earned his B.S. in Science Engineering from Northwestern University. He completed his Master’s degree in Mathematics at Washington State University and his PhD. in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics at the University of Illinois.
Darrell was first and foremost an educator. He treasured his students and believed teaching to be a noble profession. As a college professor, he taught at Notre Dame University, the University of Iowa, George Mason University and Auburn University. Darrell worked with many government defense contractors and served as an expert witness in legal cases.
Darrell had a love for amateur radio, chess and bridge. Darrell’s competitive nature led to his success in contract bridge. He was a Grand Life Master and National College Pairs Champion (1963). Licensed as K9MUG in 1958, Darrell loved Morse Code and was nicknamed the “fastest fingers” in the South. He participated in annual Emergency Awareness Broadcast drills and many competitions.
Darrell took an interest in performing arts and acted in Auburn University theater productions of “The King and I”, “Fiddler on the Roof”, and “The Music Man”. He also performed in community theaters in Georgia and Florida.
Darrell married Joan Alice Conley in 1956. He is survived by his ex-wife, their two daughters, Laura Jean Penrod Stock and Linda Carol Penrod Brandt, four grandchildren, Michelle Ann Graaf, Anthony Michael Kempisty (Amanda), Brian “Sonny” Eugene Graaf, Jr. (Lora), and Ada Celeste Stock (Tyrone), a great grandson, Nathan Anthony Kempisty, his sister, Janet Marie Penrod Hodnett (Nick), his brother Jack Ray Penrod (Mary Lou), four nephews and a niece.
Darrell was an active member of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Smiths Station, Alabama where he served as a lector and member of the vestry.
The funeral rite will be celebrated on Saturday, October 25, 2014, 10:00 Central Time at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, the Reverend John Klein officiating.
Visitation will be held at St. Stephens Episcopal Church, October 25, 2014, 9:00 Central and reception in the fellowship hall immediately following the service.
Honorary Pallbearers are Nels Madsen, Anthony Kempisty, Brian Graaf, Jr., John Penrod, Jacob Penrod and Joseph Penrod
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 45 Lee Road 567, Smiths Station, AL 36877, the American Cancer Society, Bethany House or a charity of your choice.
Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home & Crematory is in charge of arrangements.