Funeral Mass held for Brother James Darby, member of the Alexian Brothers

Brother James Carroll Darby, 91, a life-professed member of the Congregation of Alexian Brothers for 59 years, died Tuesday, Jan. 8, in the Alexian Brothers Health & Rehabilitation Center, Signal Mountain.

Brother James had lived in the Alexian Brothers communities in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Tennessee. He was born June 13, 1921, in Arnaudville, La., the son of Jules P. Darby and Bertha Barras Darby and brother of Melba, Lee Roy, and Melvin “Joe” Darby, all deceased. He is survived by nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and great-nephews.

He joined the U.S. Navy in May 1942 and was educated as a navy medical–pharmacist mate, and after duty time in the Pacific War Zone he was honorably discharged Dec. 16, 1945. He worked in the family business in Arnaudville and then joined the Alexian Brothers on Jan. 12, 1954. He pronounced his life commitment July 17, 1961. Thereafter he ministered in the Alexian Brothers Hospitals and the Signal Mountain Rest Home (now Alexian Village) and ended his working career after 44 years at the community’s national offices in the role of staff secretary to the provincial (the elected leader of the brothers in the United States).

Brother James always was hesitant to tell others of a unique experience while serving during World War II in the Western Pacific. He was on duty in the medical unit when Lt. John F. Kennedy arrived as a patient after his PT boat was struck by an enemy torpedo. Brother James did his duties and felt that it was sufficient. The follow-up was President-elect Kennedy inviting Brother James to his inauguration ceremony in Washington, D.C.

The funeral Mass was celebrated Monday, Jan. 14, in the St. Augustine Chapel at Alexian Village, Signal Mountain. Burial was in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Chattanooga, in the Alexian Brother section.

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