Jean H. Darden

Published 11:35 am Thursday, March 4, 2021

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Jean Howell Darden

FRANKLIN – Jean Howell Darden, 92, passed away in her home on March 3, 2021, surrounded by her family.

Born in Franklin on April 12, 1928, she was a daughter of the late James Edward Howell, Sr. and Emily Vaughan Howell, and was also predeceased by a sister, Phyllis H. Mewborn, and a daughter-in-law, Kathy Darden.

Jean was a graduate of Franklin High School and attended Longwood College. She was a lifelong member of Sycamore Baptist Church and was a children’s teacher and served on many committees. She was a former secretary at Franklin High School before she got married.

She was a farmer’s wife delivering lunch and supper at harvest time and hauled a many a truckload of peanuts to Birdsong Peanuts. She even helped haul cows. Better known as the ”Bread Lady,” she is also famous for her delicious caramel cake and homemade bread. She enjoyed cutting her grass at least twice a week and loved being outdoors around her dogs and hummingbirds and people. Jean was a wonderful wife, mother, homemaker, farm helper, teacher at church and an amazing cook.

Left to cherish her memory are her loving husband of almost 74 years, Hunter Darden Jr.; a daughter, Sharon Darden Kasper; two sons, Hunter Darden III and Richard E. “Ricky” Darden (Cindy); a brother, J. Edward “Jimmy” Howell Jr. (Marti); seven grandchildren, Daryl Edward Kasper, Kelle Jean Moore, Hunt Darden IV (Christi), Jerimy and Casey Mulder, Missi Hatfield (Rickey) and Kate Couch (Matt); and 10 great-grandchildren, Ethan Dale Kasper, Riley Ann Kasper, Kara Tru Hatfield, Gage Hatfield, Evie Couch, James, Cody, Sidney, Makinleigh and Christopher.

The family would like to thank Mrs. Darden’s special caregiver, Elizabeth Del Vecchio, and the Sentara Hospice Team.

A funeral will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 6, in Wright Funeral Home with the Rev. Tracey Pugh and the Rev. Dr. Reginald Warren officiating. There will be a private family burial. A viewing will be held from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday prior to the service in the funeral home.

The family suggests that memorial donations be made to Sycamore Baptist Church, 31120 Sycamore Church Road, Franklin, VA 23851, or a favorite charity.