Saturday 19 Oct 2019


Merle Paul Darden

October 7, 85,

Mr. Merle Paul Darden, 85, left his disease-strickened body to gain fellowship with his heavenly father and his beloved wife in the portals of heaven. Death came early afternoon on Monday, October 7, as he was being lovingly cared for at home.

He was son of the late Benjamin and Zilphia Sutton Darden, was married to the late Jean Barfield Darden, and is survived by their three children, Gary Darden and wife, Joni, and Jan Darden Savage and husband, Mark, all of Mount Olive, and James Owen Darden of the home; four grandchildren, Lesli Darden, Lauren Darden, Katie Savage Vann and husband, Andrew, and Jared Savage; and two great-grandchildren, Tyler Scott Odom and Eliza Kate Vann.

He was also brother to the late Raven Darden, Elizabeth Darden Westbrook, and Earl Darden.

Mr. Darden was a long time member of Thunder Swamp Church. He, too, was a member of Mount Olive Lion’s Club. For a number of years, he served on the board of directors for Smith Chapel Volunteer Fire Department.

His working career began with Colonial Grocery Store, serving as manager, and then employment was gained with Wayne Glass and Tire. Here, he found this true calling, that of being an expert tire salesman and repairman. Perhaps he was best known for his years of employ with Mount Olive Tire Service, which was followed by his realizing of a life-long dream– his own business, Merle’s Tires, which he operated until his retirement.

Mr. Darden led by example with the good, Christian life he lived before others. His life will be remembered Thursday, October 10, at 7 p.m. at Thunder Swamp Pentecostal Holiness Church, officiated by Pastor Jimmy Whitfield, with visitation to follow. Burial will be Friday, October 11, at 10 a.m. in the Martin-Price Cemetery. Flowers are welcome, or memorial gifts may be made to Thunder Swamp Church, c/o Liz King, 3516 Suttontown Road, Faison NC 28341, or Wayne Opportunity Center, PO Box 1007, Goldsboro, NC 27530.

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