Darden R. Rodden, World War II submariner and du Pont millwright, died on July 12, 2022. He was 98.
Although his early life was tragically marked by the death of his mother when he was 13 years old and consequently being raised by his aunt and older brothers, his adult life was defined by service, accomplishment, and much happiness.
Following his graduation from Conrad High School, where he is remembered as an energetic member of the military drill squad, and his wartime service aboard the USS Redfin, Darden began his life’s work with the E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company in Wilmington DE. It was in Delaware that Darden met the love of his life, C. Lynn (nee Fox) Rodden. Their love was so robust that they enjoyed 68 years together. Always the gentleman, Darden’s quiet and sincere demeanor was the perfect complement to Lynn’s and along with his clever sense of humor and one-liners, their years were ones of joyful companionship and the satisfaction of raising a family and enjoying their accomplishments.
After Lynn and Darden retired, they explored the world, traveling to Hawaii, Alaska, Italy, Switzerland, British Isles, and Tahiti. Closer to home, they visited West Virginia where Lynn’s family has its roots, and when they weren’t living out of suitcases, they could often be found at their vacation homes in Lewes and Rehoboth, where along with children and grandchildren, the family created lifelong memories.
Throughout his adult life, Darden was a devoted member of Red Clay Creek Presbyterian Church serving as an Elder and a Deacon. He was an exceptional handyman and employed those skills to the benefit of the church as well as his children’s homes.
Darden and Lynn have three children: Karen Rodden Caldas (James Caldas) of Greenville, DE; Timothy D. Rodden (Randy Clayton) of Newark, DE and Baltimore, MD; and Jean Rodden (Gary Odle) of Landenberg, PA. Darden was devoted to his three grandsons, James Moreland (Mara) of Sterling, VA; Liam Odle of Landenberg, PA; and Christopher Caldas of New York City; and to his great granddaughters, Reagan and Quinn Moreland.
Darden was the youngest in his family and is predeceased by his parents Martha S. and John A. Rodden, and by his siblings, Ethel Tanner, Nevin Rodden, Bernie Rodden, Bessie Rodden, Jesse Rodden, Forrest Rodden, and John Rodden.
Lynn recalls that Darden’s favorite question was: “Is everything under control?” The answer: “Yes, Darden, everything is under control thanks to the way you raised your family and conducted your life which instilled in your children and their families a strong and resilient bond of love. Yes, Darden, everything is under control.”
Darden’s family would like to thank The Lorelton Assisted Living where numerous remarkable caregivers became a second family for them, Compassionate Care Hospice, Griswold Home Care, Comfort Keepers, and Rohani Home Care. Donya (Dee) Johnson’s kind spirit and care has been a true gift to Darden, Lynn and the family.
A memorial service will be held at Red Clay Creek Presbyterian Church on Thursday, July 21 at 3PM. The family will greet friends during an informal reception following the service. Please wear a mask.
In lieu of flowers please consider a memorial donation to Red Clay Creek Presbyterian Church, 500 McKennans Church Rd. Wilmington, DE 19808. Funeral arrangements by McCrery & Harra.