Brother James Carroll Darby, a life professed member of the Congregation of Alexian Brothers for 59 years, died on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013, in the Alexian Brothers Health & Rehabilitation Center, Signal Mountain, Tennessee.
Brother James had lived in the Alexian Brothers communities in Wisconsin, Illinois and Tennessee. He was born on June 13, 1921, in Arnaudville, La., the son of Jules P. Darby and Bertha Barras Darby and brother of Melba, Lee Roy and Melvin "Joe" Darby, all deceased. He leaves a loving family of nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews.
His life prior to joining the Alexian Community was fully family oriented and the French Cajun culture was deeply integrated in the day to day life. He chose to join the U.S. Navy in May of 1942 and was educated as a Navy medical - pharmacist mate and after duty time in the Pacific War Zone he was honorably discharged on Dec. 16, 1945.
He worked in the family business in Arnaudville, and then joined the Alexian Brothers on Jan. 12, 1954. He pronounced his life commitment on July 17, 1961. Thereafter he ministered in the Alexian Brothers Hospitals, the Signal Mountain Rest Home (now Alexian Village), and ended his working career after 44 years at the Community's National Offices in the role of staff secretary to the Provincial (the elected leader of the Brothers in the United States).
Brother James always was hesitant to tell others of his unique experience while serving during the Second World War in the Western Pacific. It was simply that he was on duty in the Medical Unit when Lt. John F. Kennedy arrived as a patient following his PT Boat having been struck by an enemy torpedo. Brother James did his duties and felt that it was sufficient. The follow-up was president-elect John F. Kennedy inviting "Frenchy" to the Inauguration Ceremony in Washington, DC.
The viewing will begin on Sunday, Jan. 13, at 1 p.m. at the St. Augustine Chapel at Alexian Village, Signal Mountain, Tenn. An evening Solemn Vigil will be held at 7 p.m. The viewing will continue overnight and end with the Solemn funeral Mass on Monday, Jan. 14, at 11:15 a.m. Burial will be at Mount Olivet Cemetery in the Alexian Brother section.
Arrangements are by the East Chapel of Chattanooga Funeral Home, Crematory and Florist. Chattanooga, Tenn.
Published in Chicago Suburban Daily Herald on Jan. 12, 2013