CHEBEAGUE ISLAND — Kenneth L. Darling, 84, formerly of New Gloucester, died unexpectedly on Dec. 17 on Chebeague Island where he had been a resident since September.

He was born in South Portland on Feb. 15, 1928, a son of Winifred (Moody) and Melvin Theodore Darling. He was educated in South Portland schools and enlisted in the U.S. Navy during World War II where he trained as a seabee before being sent to China.

After the war, he married Joanne Shore and they raised their eight children in South Portland. During this time, he worked as a meat cutter with A&P in South Portland before changing his career to driving trucks. He drove local and New England routes primarily but became a long haul driver when he moved to Florida. He enjoyed NASCAR.

Darling returned to Maine 24 years ago and settled in New Gloucester. He lived a quiet life. He enjoyed helping a daughter, Leslie, with yard work and doing some inside painting for another daughter, Deborah. He enjoyed working on his car and he was still changing his own oil this last summer. He enjoyed a good joke, even at his own expense and will be remembered as a man with a ready laugh.

Darling is survived by his daughters, Deborah Rand, of Durham, Laurie Emblem and her husband, Bruce, of Montreal, Leslie Orne and her husband, David, of Yarmouth, Tracey Goodridge and her husband, Peter, of Stratham, N.H., and Randi Foote and her husband, Dana, of Cape Elizabeth; his sons, Michael Darling and his wife, Kathy, of Yarmouth; Jason Darling and Fredericka Walsh, of North Yarmouth; eight grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; his sister, Eloise Bettney and her husband, Al, of Scarborough; his brother, Raymond Darling and his wife, Jane, of Florida; as well as many nieces and nephews. 

He was predeceased by his wife, Joanne, and his daughter, Kim Darling.

A celebration of his life will be held next summer.

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