Darrell Wilford Willden, age 78, passed away Sunday, August 27, 2017 at his home in Delta, Utah surrounded by his daughters. He was born on July 19, 1939 in Delta, Utah the fourth of the six children of George Albert “Al” & Melba McClellan Willden. He grew up in Delta helping his father in many West Desert mines. When he entered Delta High School he already had a love for fixing engines and restoring cars. He would race anybody who pulled to the side of him at a stop sign. He enlisted in the US Army in February of 1959, serving in Fort Ord, California. While there, he was a member of the Honor Guard and marched in President Kennedy’s inaugural parade in 1961. He was discharged February of 1961. He married Marilyn Giles on July 1, 1961 in Delta, Utah. Because of the Berlin Crisis, he was called back into military service that November, and served at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri until August of 1962. He returned to Delta and worked with his father in the Willden Fluorspar Mine. He bought the only house on the shores of Gunnison Bend Reservoir, a small A-frame in the middle of yards of dirt paths and weeds. His friends all told him it was a silly decision, but later changed their tune as the Sherwood Shores community grew around his little house, and there are plenty of wonderful memories of the time his family spent on the water. Darrell and Marilyn later divored.
He worked many years for the Union Pacific Railroad as a roadmaster until he retired. Darrell joined the Millard County Search and Rescue Jeep Posse when he was 20 years old, and served in the unit until last year when his health began to fade. He has also served as an EMT.
Darrell’s favorite activities were restoring cars and participating in car shows, waterskiing, deer hunting, exploring the West Desert with his dad finding trilobites, arrowheads, topaz, quartz and geodes, having morning coffee with his friends at the Rancher, and especially spending time with his family. He could fix or build anything, and created lasting memories of seeing him cruising in his pink 56' Cadillac, 1914 Model T Ford, and 67' convertible Cadillac cars.
Darrell is survived by his daughters: Tonya Willden Johnson, Torrie (Josh) Conlon, Trudy Willden, and Tiffany (Robert) Lance; 24 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren; siblings: Nye (Rudy) Willden, Bonnie (Paul) Carter, Carl (Nila) Willden; and many nieces and nephews he loved dearly. He was preceded in death by son: Todd Willden; granddaughter: Mackenzi Marie Willden; sisters: Clareen Forster and Gloria Martin.
Funeral Services with military honors and Posse Honor Guard will be held on Friday, September 1, at 11:00 am, at the Delta West LDS Stake Center, 188 N Main St, Hinckley. Viewings will be held on Thursday, 6 - 8 pm, at the Nickle Mortuary, 190 S Center, Delta; and Friday, 9:30-10:40 am, prior to the service. Burial will be in the Delta City Cemetery.