Cover photo for Alene (Stafford)  Darnell's Obituary
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1927 Alene 2023

Alene (Stafford) Darnell

February 23, 1927 — June 6, 2023

Oxford, Mississippi

Alene Stafford Darnell, 96, passed away on Tuesday, June 6, 2023. She was born on February 23, 1927 to William Haywood Stafford and Lessie Velma (Claunch) Stafford in Moscow, Tennessee. She spent much of her young adult life in Macon, Tennessee before settling in Collierville, Tennessee.

Alene was ever the adventurous and industrious woman. She helped care for her younger siblings as they grew up in the depression era and worked on the farm milking cows and picking cotton. She assisted with the war efforts by assembling hand grenades and photo flash bombs. After World War II, she married her very own hero soldier, Ben Darnell, on January 12, 1946, whom she had met via exchanged letters while he was away fighting for our freedom. Never one to sit idle, she then went to beauty school and opened her own hair salon, “Modern Hairstyles”, with her sister, Shirley Wade. She and her husband also ran a family farm in Macon.

She loved life and lived it to the fullest from the simplest of moments to grand adventures such as fishing in local ponds, sharing homemade treats and meals with all her friends and neighbors, tending to her beautiful lawn by herself well into her early 90s and becoming the life of every party she attended or hosted. Later in life she found a beloved community at the Collierville YMCA and thrived in her weekly exercise routines of water aerobics and Silver Sneakers. She was a friend to all who knew her and was always willing to help and serve others. Always ready to take on the next challenge, she purchased an electric car at the age of 92 and drove it all over Collierville. She also maintained a deep love of travel and took along anyone willing to go with her to see the world. Alene especially enjoyed cruises, going on a grand total of 68 and visiting countless cities, countries and islands.

Family brought her great joy and she cherished her time with them, sharing laughs and sometimes tears. She is survived by her two children, Becky Caudle (Don) and Ben Darnell (Shawn); four grandchildren, Machelle Williams (Ernie), Melanie Robertson (Scott), Taylor Lewis (Matthew), and Boyd Darnell; five great grandchildren, Mary Shields Hunter (Sam), Max Williams, Brooks Williams, Avery Robertson, Olivia Williams and one great, great grandchild, Anne Stribling Hunter. She is also survived by her only sister, Shirley Wade (Julian).

She was preceded in death by the love of her life and husband, Robert Benson Darnell, Sr., her parents Haywood and Velma Stafford; three brothers, Arthur Sidney Stafford, William “Bill” Morton Stafford, and Malcom “Gene” Stafford.

Funeral Services for Mrs. Darnell were held at 1 P.M. Thursday, June 8, 2023 at Collierville First Baptist Church with Dr. Tommy Vinson officiating. A private family graveside service followed.

Those honored to serve as pallbearers were Max Williams, Boyd Darnell, Matthew Lewis, Avery Robertson, Ernie Williams and Scott Robertson.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to First Baptist Church of Collierville, Tennessee - Senior Adults Ministry or Living Hope Church (Piperton, Tennessee) - Student Ministry.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Alene (Stafford) Darnell, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, June 8, 2023

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Collierville First Baptist Church

830 New Byhalia Road, Collierville, TN 38017

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Funeral Service

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Collierville First Baptist Church

830 New Byhalia Road, Collierville, TN 38017

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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