Carl K. Darnell

November 23, 1935January 31, 2023
Obituary of Carl K. Darnell
Carl King Darnell of Rochester Hills MI passed away on Tuesday January 31, 2023 at the age of 87. He was born on November 23, 1935 in Tucumcari New Mexico. He graduated from Tucumcari High School in 1954 and Baylor University in Waco TX in 1960 with a BBA degree in Marketing. In 1955 he accepted a summer job in Yellowstone NP where he met his wife to be, Laura Ziegler. They were married for 67 years. Carl entered the Management Training program of the then S. S. Kresge Co (which later became Kmart Corp.) and started as a stockman in a Kresge store in store #704 in Dallas Texas. From there he moved up the corporate ladder working as an assistant manager in 3 stores, one of which was a Kmart, and managed two Kresge stores, then was a Co-manager in Atlanta and later a Kmart manager in Lexington KY then manager of a Kmart in Alexandria LA. He was called up to the Kmart headquarters in Troy MI in 1970 where he was appointed as Director of Management Personnel Recruitment and Training. The rest of his career was spent with Kmart in Troy MI in various positions, until retirement in 1993. Carl was especially proud of his hiring and advancement of women in the corporation, one of whom became a Vice President. In all he and the family moved 9 times with the Company until settling in MI for the last 25 years. Many summers were spent fishing in northern Ontario while living in his RV. He was a good golfer and runner and he completed 5 marathons. In retirement the first thing Laura and Carl did was to return to their beloved Yellowstone to visit. They were Campground Hosts at Great Basin NP one year then landed the coveted position as Campground Hosts at Madison Campground in Yellowstone NP where they volunteered for 5 fabulous summers. They were on duty on 9/11 and had to notify campers of the situation. They completed the 500 mile hiking club in the park, actively hiking and fishing as often as possible. Summers were spent exploring 135 National Parks and partaking in all the hikes possible in the parks. Four months was spent in old Mexico Rving and one highlight of the trip was to visit the Monarch Butterfly Preserve at 13000 feet elevation. Henderson NV became his home for 22 years before stating he wanted to move back to MI to be with his family and say goodbye to his friends. While in NV he led an active life with the RVing, golf, running, traveling, Elks and Sons of Norway. He is preceded in death by his father Robert Carl Darnell and mother Iva Rae King, brother Billie Bob Darnell and three infant children. He is survived by his spouse Laura Ziegler, children Mark, Jeffrey and Deena VanCamp and 7 grandchildren and two great grandchildren The family would like to thank the Hospice organization for the care and compassion they showed our loved one in their final days Family and friends are invited to attend a memorial which is planned in April in MI. Further information is pending. Interment to follow at the family plot in Tucumcari NM. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in their honor to The Alzheimer’s Association or an organization of your choice.

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