Longtime Grace Brethren pastor, Shimer E. Darr, died Monday, July 14 at the age of 89.
Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, July 18 at Price Funeral Home, Meyersdale, Pa. Services will be conducted at 10 a.m. Saturday at Summit Mills Grace Brethren Church, Meyersdale, Pa. with the Rev. Ronzil Jarvis officiating. Interment will be at Center Church Cemetery, (Summit Township) Garrett, Pa.
He pastored the Grace Brethren Church in Washington, Pa., for more than 24 years and Center Independent Church, Garrett, Pa., for nine years. Later he served 11 years as Camp Albryoca caretaker and continued to supply pulpits until his death.
He was born January 21, 1922, in Ryot (Bedford County), Pa., son of the late Howard C. and Cydney (McDonald) Darr. He was married for 58 years to Helen L. (Shaffer) Darr, who died on Aug. 5, 2003.
He also was preceded in death by brothers, Ritten, Michael, Homer, and Harry Darr; and sisters, Ruth Pyle, Fern, and Pauline.
He is survived by a son, William E. Darr (director of library services at Grace College and Theological Seminary) and his wife, Joan, Warsaw, Ind.; daughter, Doris Valentine, Meyersdale; grandchildren, Michael Darr, Dr. David Darr, Jason Valentine, Steven Valentine and Marc Valentine; and great-grandchildren, Emily, Rachel, Adam, Caleb and Catherine Darr; Ty and Sam Prentice; and Giovanni Valentine.
He was a graduate of Kantner Elementary, Stoystown High School, and Grace Theological Seminary in Winona Lake, Ind. (class of 1961).
He was a veteran of CCC Camps in Rockwood, Mont.; Rainier in Washington; Priest River, Idaho; and Glen Rock, Pa. and served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during Word War II from December 6, 1941, to November 10, 1945, including serving in Africa in May 1942 with the Free French in their drive from Fort Lamy, French Equatorial Africa to Tripoli against Field Marshal Rommel. He then served in North Africa, following the invasions of Casablanca, Oran, Algiers, Bizerte and Tunis and assisted in the training of the 82nd Airborne Division and the subsequent invasion of Sicily. He was involved in dropping of spies in North Africa prior to the invasions and served in the transportation of officials at the Cairo and Tehran Conferences.
Returning to the U.S. he was involved in ferrying B-24’s to Australia. His decorations included American Defense, Good Conduct, Victory Medal, American Campaign Medal, African-Middle East Medal and European Medal.
In addition to serving in the pastorate, he worked on the Pennsylvania Turnpike construction at New Baltimore, Allegheny Tunnel, Bedford and Breezewood, and at Bethlehem Steel, C&G Coal Co., Battery and Electric Corp., and Sears Roebuck & Co. in Johnstown, Pa. and Warsaw, Ind. He was a long time ham radio operator, W3TZM.
Arrangements by the William Rowe Price Funeral Home Inc., Meyersdale, Pa.