April 3, 1927 - May 18, 2020
Sam Darden, born April 3, 1927, passed peacefully on May 18 after a brief illness. Sam lived a very full life. He was born in the year Lindbergh flew across the Atlantic and died in an era of contemplated personal space flight. In his 35 years as an electrical engineer at Lockheed, he worked on everything from the Jetstar to C-5 simulators. During that time, he also went to Georgia State University to obtain a master’s degree in English Literature. He indulged his love of knowledge by amassing a personal library of over 2900 books, all carefully cataloged and shelved. He was a Renaissance man who loved fine wine and hound dogs. He studied cosmology and poetry and everything in between. He savored Virginia ham and enjoyed an evening cocktail. He built fine furniture in his woodshop and treasured his trips to the Atlanta Symphony. In 1968, he took unapproved leave to walk in the MLK funeral procession. In his retirement he gave himself to teaching adult literacy, building houses for Habitat for Humanity and creating a statewide advocacy group for gun control. Even greater than all of these loves, however, were the great passions he shared with his wife Martha: the Democratic Party, spending time with family (especially grandchildren!), and traveling the globe. Sam and Martha were stalwarts in local and national Democratic causes. Gov. Roy Barnes has said that Sam was the first real Democrat in Cobb County. Sam and Martha traveled across nearly every continent - their adventures included standing in the shadows of the Pyramids, riding on jungle safaris, walking the Great Wall of China, and sleeping in tents on the Galápagos Islands to help baby turtles. Their travels, of course, included taking each of their grandchildren on separate week-long trips to London. Sam also treasured and nurtured his relationships with his children: his daughter, Kimberly Darden Pampanin (Joseph Egan) and his son, David Darden (Lisa); as well as with his beloved sister, Joan Darden. He is survived by them, by Cynthia Correa (German), and by his grandchildren: Taylor Darden, Sarah Darden, Emma Pampanin (Armando Amor), Mark Pampanin, Marta Luz Correa and Aron Correa. After 38 years of marriage, Martha predeceased Sam in 2018. His family also expresses great appreciation to Gilbert Penaloza, Sam’s patient library assistant, lunch companion and chess student. An interment service will be held at a later date. The family requests that any donations be made to Cobb Habitat for Humanity. “Earth’s the right place for love: I don’t know where it’s likely to go better. I’d like to go by climbing a birch tree, and climb black branches up a snow-white trunk, toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more, but dipped its top and set me down again. That would be good both going and coming back. One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.” Rest easy, Sam. You took the road less traveled, and that made all the difference.
Sam Darden, born April 3, 1927, passed peacefully on May 18 after a brief illness. Sam lived a very full life. He was born in the year Lindbergh flew across the Atlantic and died in an era of contemplated personal space flight. In his 35 years... View Obituary & Service Information
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