Image of Darrell Darling speaking at RCNV

Rev. Darrell Darling: Presenté! 1940–2022

"Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work, it means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart."

–Unknown Author

The Resource Center for Nonviolence (RCNV) community are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our own, Rev. Darrell Darling. Darrell passed very peacefully in his home surrounded by family on Thursday, February 3, 2022. He is survived by his wife Karen Darling, daughter Denise Wyldbore and son-in law-James Campbell, beloved Son Robert Wilson, granddaughter Kylie Wyldbore Samara and her husband Gabriel Samara. He is preceded in death by his beloved sons, Matthew and Adam.

We welcome you to visit the main lobby of RCNV to express your love and appreciation for Rev. Darling. We invite you to visit the remembrance table we have set up, leave a written reflection, light a candle, or sit in honor at the center.

RCNV will be open:

Tuesday, February 8th–Monday, February 28th 


His loss resonates throughout our entire RCNV community. We are deeply appreciative of Darrell and his devotion to people, love and faith in all of us. His commitment to civil rights, justice, peace, democracy, interfaith community, reconciliation, and nonviolence were steadfast.

Darrell was a pillar of the RCNV community lovingly serving on the board and steering committee with his conviction and perceptions from the 1980s into 2022. Darrell was instrumental in working with Scott Kennedy to locate the current facility of the RCNV on Ocean Street in 2011.

Darrell also served in the NAACP Santa Cruz County Branch, the local Democratic Party Central Committee, and Palestine Justice Coalition. He also supported efforts for community policing, the Not In Our Town movement against hate, and interfaith work for peace and justice. Darrell guided, mentored, and supported many leaders and community organizers in Santa Cruz.  

Darrell Darling, along with his whole family, answered Dr. King’s call to the Selma, Alabama campaign for voting rights in 1965, joining in the historical Selma-Montgomery march.  Rev. Darling graduated from Yale Divinity School in 1966 and was ordained days later in the Illinois United Methodist Conference. Rev. Darling’s Pastoral service included churches in Illinois, New York, and Connecticut; starting churches in Pleasanton and Dublin, California; and pastoring at Davis United Methodist Church for 7 years. Rev. Darling served the First United Methodist Church of Santa Cruz from 1978 to 1983.

After leaving the ministry, Darrell and Karen Darling operated the Darling House Bed and Breakfast on West Cliff Drive from 1984–2017. Darrell loved meeting and conversing about life and politics with guests. Darrell and Karen offered the Darling House in community ministry, hosting many fundraising events for justice-led political candidates and organizations. They also contributed to the work of RCNV by providing support and hospitality to guests involved in nonviolent struggles around the world. The Darling House supported the Santa Cruz Sister Cities program, and hosted the Alushta, Crimea mayor’s delegation in 1989 when the Loma Prieta earthquake struck. 

Darrell Darling put his faith to work. He did not gloss over the deep conflicts and oppressions our society and world suffer. Darrell sustained many of us with his persistent conviction that reconciliation is possible in every situation. We honor the light and dedication he has given us.

In Light and Peace,

The Resource Center for Nonviolence Board and Staff

Santa Cruz civil rights activist Darrell Darling dies at 81


SANTA CRUZ – Karen and Denise Darling huddled in their three-generation home in Santa Cruz to reminisce about the life of Darrell Darling, the patriarch of the family — husband to Karen and Denise’s father.

Darrell died Feb. 3, but not before he could leave a lasting impression on his community after his 81 years of life. He was one of four sons to a preacher in Illinois, something that would eventually bring him to his soulmate, Karen. Read more…

Remembering Darrell Darling

Posted by Rachel Goodman | Feb 11, 2022 | All Talk, Local, Politics, Rachel Anne Goodman, Talk of the Bay

The Santa Cruz community lost a giant in civil rights and social justice causes when Darrell Darling passed away February 3rd, 2022. In this segment, we hear from Peter Clotz-Chamberlain of the Resource Center for Nonviolence, Leslie Steiner of the Santa Cruz County Democratic Party, and Deborah Hills-Alston, from the NAACP, all of whom worked closely with him on important projects. They bring in personal stories and fond memories of Darrell, sharing them with the audience.

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