James Darby, a long time resident of Burke County died November 28, 2007 at age 97. Mr. Darby was born February 5, 1910 in Greenwood, SC, and with his parents, arrived in Morganton in 1913. During his teen years, he began a love affair with airplanes and aviation that would be a large part of his life for better than fifty years. He was a pioneering aviator, one of the early barnstormers of the 1930s, and a contributor to aviation in many ways.Darby was a patriot to this country during World War II. In Camden, SC, his flying and parachute packing skills were passed on to large numbers of young men who were being prepared to go to war. When one of the planes being used as a trainer, had an engine replaced, Darby became the test pilot for that aircraft. He was truly among those men and women who were destined to be called, "The Greatest Generation". During those wartime years in Camden, SC, he was a member of the Camden Rotary, and served as President of the Camden Jaycees. Upon his return to Morganton and Burke County, he and his wife, Iona, served as volunteers at their church and at Grace Hospital.James was a loyal and loving husband to his wife, Iona, who preceded him in death in the year 1993. He was dignified in life, a man of character, honest in thought and action, had ethics beyond question, and was loyal to his friends and associates. He will be missed by his many friends, but long remembered as a good man and a good friend. Many people pass into and out of our lives, but few leave footprints in our heart. James

Darby was such a man.Graveside services will be held at 2:30 pm, Sunday, December 2, 2007 at Forest Hill Cemetery with Rev. Michael Bailey officiating. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements.

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