Richard H. “Dick” Darling, 79, of Sturbridge died at home on April, 23, 2013 of natural causes.Born on City Island, Bronx NY, in 1933, Dick grew up with a love of sailing and the water. The son of William and Ruth (Leviness) Darling, he was the middle child, born between brother William “Billy” Darling and sister Ellen Darling Burke. He built his first boat at age 11 with his father and brother, and worked around the water throughout his teens. A graduate of the prestigious Bronx High School of Science, he was a varsity sailor for The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art before earning a degree in mechanical engineering at the City College of New York. It was at City College that he met his wife Hannah Nienburg, whom he married in 1957. Following graduation from City College, Dick earned a Master's at New York University and served in the Army Corps of Engineers. Dick spent the next thirty years doing applied design engineering work for a variety of firms, including Remington Typewriters, Johnson & Johnson, Sanders Association, and Instrumentation Laboratory. Several patents are registered under his name. After retiring as an engineer in 1993, Dick taught engineering and mechanics classes part-time at several institutions, including the Franklin Institute in Boston.
Dick loved the outdoors and the family went on many wilderness canoeing trips, most often in Maine, Ontario, and the Adirondacks. A loving father, he built tree houses, repaired bicycles and took his kids on nature walks. For much of his life he maintained different sailboats, from the sailing rig for his Grumman canoe to, most recently, a Catalina 22 named “Mischief” which sailed out of Salem. He was Scoutmaster of Troop 76 in Andover MA where he emphasized outdoor activities, camping, and canoeing. For many years Dick was an active member of the Methodist church. Dick and Hannah were long-time members of Ballard Vale United Church in Andover, serving in numerous leadership positions. Dick was involved in fundraising for an elevator to connect all floors of the church, making it wheelchair-accessible. Most recently, he was involved in the Charlton City Methodist Church near his home in Sturbridge. He was an active square and round dancer, serving as president of the Rocketeers Square Dance Club. Most of all, he enjoyed spending time with his family. He was a great supporter of their efforts and successes, core values that have been passed on to the next generation.
He leaves behind his wife of 56 years, Hannah (Nienburg) Darling, five children and their spouses, and eight grandchildren: Nancy Darling. her husband Andrew Burns and their two sons Ian and Sean of Oberlin, OH; Betty Darling, her husband Bruce Boyson and their two children William and Julianna of Sturbridge, MA; Carolyn Darling Walter, her husband Peter and their two daughters Ashley and Genevieve of Hampton, NJ; Thomas Darling, his wife Cathy Stoddard and their two children Owen and Joseph of Bristol, VT; and Wendy Darling of Atlanta, GA.
His family and friends would like to extend their profound gratitude and admiration for Dick’s wife, Hannah, who cared for him tirelessly through his final years.
His funeral will be held Saturday, April 27, in the Charlton City United Methodist Church, 74 Stafford St. Charlton. Burial will follow at North Cemetery in Sturbridge.
A video tribute is available at :