© The Bakersfield Californian
Sunday, 3 February 2008
Darrell Leroy Champlin
Darrell Leroy Champlin was born in Reno, Nevada September 5, 1920. He departed this life on Wednesday, January 30, 2008.
Darrell was raised in Kettleman City, where he met his beloved wife, Thelma Champlin. They were friends and played together in elementary school. He brought her ice cream every day, while she was recovering from a surgery she had as a young child.
Darrell enlisted in the Army Corp on August 11, 1942. He served in the 386th Bomb Squad, where he campaigned and battled in New Guinea, Southern Philippines, and the Western Pacific. He was awarded the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon, just to name a few.
He returned from the war in 1945, marrying his lifelong sweetheart Thelma, thus beginning their 60 year commitment to one another. They were married on September 5, 1947.
Darrell worked for PG&E for forty~three years. He worked in Kettleman City at the Compressor plant. He enjoyed his job and was a very hard worker.
He was one of the founding members of the Avenal Gun Club and took pleasure in hunting with his son, grandsons and friends.
He was also a member of the Free Masons. He was first initiated in 1947 and was very active for many years.
Darrell adored his family. He and his father, who was known as Sam the blind man, were the best of friends.
Their daughter Leslie preceded him in death 12 years ago. Darrell and Thelma raised Leslie's two daughters, Melinda and Melody, as their own. Darrell was the only father Melinda and Melody really knew.
Darrell is survived by a son, 4 grandchildren and 9 beautiful great grandchildren, who will miss him very much. Steven Lee Champlin is his surviving son, who resides in Bakersfield, CA. His grandson's are Zachery and Casey and granddaughters are Melody and Melinda. Darrell is also survived by many other loving family members: Jani, daughter~in~law; Beth and Tatum, granddaughters~in~law; Dominic grandson~in~law; and several nephews and nieces. He had a special relationship with each and every one of his family members.
Darrell was a man of many words, we will miss our conversations. He was a very sharp and intelligent man.
The family would like to thank the wonderful staff at Hanford Community Medical Center and the Optimal Hospice staff in Bakersfield for their compassion and kind hearts they revealed to Darrell and his family members. Visitation will be at Phipps~Dale Funeral Chapel in Lemoore beginning at 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Monday February 4, 2008. Graveside services will be at Grangeville Cemetery in Armona on Tuesday February 5th, at 10:00 a.m.
Darrell Leroy Champlin, Sept. 5, 1920 ~ Jan. 30, 2008
Phipps~Dale Funeral Chapel (559) 924~5611
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