Darrell Ray Vanover, age 69, of Parkers Lake, Kentucky, passed away on Monday, December 28, 2015, at the VA Community Living Center, Lexington, Kentucky.
Darrell was born on March 20, 1946, at Parkers Lake, Kentucky, one of nine children, to Gilbert L. and Elsie Marie (Neal) Vanover. He is preceded in death by his parents, a sister, Ella Mae (and Paul) Wilson and an infant sister, Shirley Dean (b/d in 1950), three infant brothers: Vernon Lee (b/d March 1948), Ronald Lee (b/d Feb. 1940), and Doyle Ray (1944)
Survivors include children: Kamron, Tyler and DeDee Vanover and one grandson, two brothers: Dr. Gilbert L. Vanover, Jr. (and wife Ruth Ann), Donald Lee Vanover (wife Barbara deceased), and two sisters: Faye Mills (and husband Jon), and Wilma Jean Bryant (and husband Scott), and a host of friends and relatives.
Darrell had a Bachelor of Science Degree in chemistry from Cumberland College (University of the Cumberlands) and a Master’s Degree, attending University of Kentucky and Morehead State University. He also had a Master’s Degree in Microbiology. He loved knowledge and continued his education through various courses including computer classes. He was a master welder and loved working with steel and metal. He took flying lessons, and got a Pilot’s license, and purchased a Cessna plane. He was a member of the Mill Creek Methodist Church.
Darrell was a retired owner of Qix Food & Gas Mart at Parkers Lake, Kentucky; a well-known general merchandise business in earlier years owned by his parents where they sold everything from nails, fabric, vinyl rugs, shoes and about anything needed in the home.
A Vietnam Veteran serving in the U.S. Air Force for four years, he was a Crew Chief on a C-130 Aircraft which flew daily/weekly missions to England, Germany, Libya, Turkey, Italy, Tunisia, Spain and Portugal. Sgt. Vanover served in Vietnam 1967, 1968, and 1969 flying daily. He was stationed in the Philippians for one year and also served in Germany.
While stationed at Pope Air Force Base in North Carolina, Darrell was in charge of a C-5A Aircraft, largest plane in the world at that time, doing paperwork and maintenance. He wore a parachute and stood in the door of the plane as they dropped paratroopers, mostly Army. His plane was one of the best and was one of the five chosen to haul the Air Force Band on tour of Europe for three months to Rome, Spain, Copenhagen and Ireland.
He worked three years in the lab at Tecumseh Products in Somerset, Kentucky.
Past Master of the Masonic Lodge in Stearns, Kentucky, where he made many contributions increasing interest in the History of the Lodge. They started fishing tournaments for children with prizes and free food donated by local merchants with the help of Mr. Kidd. He is a current member of the Burnside Masonic Lodge.
He was Post Commander of VFW Stearns for two years. While Commander he started a Four Wheel Club and worked with the fiscal court on opening trails to increase interest. McCreary Fest was also started under the VFW bringing thousands of people into the county. The VFW had a food court at the Fest raising thousands of dollars.
Darrell was an avid fisherman, loved the outdoors and water. He was a scuba diver making various trips to the Cayman Islands, but never realized his dream of moving to Hawaii. He loved whitewater kayaking, making various friends and trips with the Kayak Club to Maryland, etc. He also loved going to the Amish Country in Millersburg, Ohio, especially in the fall of the year.
He was an avid reader and loved the story of Temple Grandin, an autistic woman, author of “Thinking in Pictures,” who achieved major accomplishments. He also loved the book “The Bluegrass Conspiracy” by Sally Denton. He was also a Bible reader.
Darrell will be sadly missed by all those who knew and loved him.
Funeral services: Thursday, December 31, 2015, at 2:00 p.m. at McCreary County Funeral Home with Rev. Larry Nichols officiating. Visitation 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday at the funeral home. Burial at Mill Creek Cemetery.
McCreary County Funeral Home entrusted with arrangements.