March 3, 1929 - June 8, 2020
Beloit, WI -- Robert Frederick Darling, a lifelong resident of Beloit, passed away on June 8, 2020 at Beloit Senior Living where he had resided for the last two years. He was born March 3, 1929, the son of Fred S. and Mae (Simmons) Darling. He attended Brother Dutton Grade School, and graduated from Beloit Memorial High School in 1947. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1951 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, and as an ensign from Notre Dame's NROTC program.
During the Korean War, Bob served as an officer on the destroyer USS Colahan from 1951 to 1953. He continued to be an active member of the United States Naval Reserve, commanding units in both Rockford and Janesville until retiring as Lieutenant Commander in 1975. Bob married Donna Marie Bresnehan on June 30, 1956 at St. Jude Catholic Church in Beloit. He worked in various engineering capacities at several area firms, retiring from Sundstrand Aviation in 1991. During this time, he completed a course in modern business administration through the Alexander Hamilton Institute. Bob was active with his church as well as the schools that his children attended. Early in his life he was a member of St. Jude parish and its Laetare Choir. After moving to his home on Arrowhead Drive, he joined Our Lady of the Assumption parish. He was a co-organizer of OLA's first Home and School Association, and the OLA Educational Endowment Fund.
As a member of the Beloit Historical Society and the Damien-Dutton Society, he was active in events to honor and promote the legacy of Brother Joseph Dutton of Molokai. He was a member of the University of Notre Dame's 50 Year Club, and enjoyed returning to South Bend for class reunions. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, and the Naval Reserve Association (AUSN). Bob served on the Beloit City Planning Commission for several years, and worked for many years with his wife Donna as a poll worker during elections.
Survivors include his beloved children and their spouses: Robert (Ann) of Sheboygan WI, Thomas (Penny) of Brookfield WI, Kathleen Ethington of Machesney Park IL, James (Anne) of Jacksonville FL, Stephen (Angie) of Jacksonville FL, David (Nadine) of Tierra Verde FL, Paul (Angela) of Waukesha WI and Ann (Darren) Schultz of Waterford WI as well as 26 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren. He is further survived by his sister, Patricia Pilgrim of Waukesha WI, and sister-in-law Barbara Hansen of Rye, NH, many nieces, nephews and cousins and his lifelong friends Bob and Sara Crave of Waterloo, WI. He was predeceased by his beloved wife, Donna, infant son Richard, son-in-law Ronald Ethington, brothers-in-law James Pilgrim and William Hansen, and his beloved parents.
A Funeral Mass of Christian Burial for Bob will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 16, 2020 in Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church, 2222 Shopiere Road, Beloit, WI, with Fr. Michael Resop officiating. Burial will be at Mt. Thabor Cemetery. Visitation of remembrance will be from 9:15 a.m. until 10:15 a.m. Tuesday in the church. Daley Murphy Wisch & Associates Funeral Home and Crematorium, 2355 Cranston Road, Beloit, WI, assisted the family with arrangements. Individual viewing with social distancing and masks will be required. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the OLA Education Endowment Fund or Beloit Regional Hospice. Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.daleymurphywisch.com