Apr 10, 2020

TAPS: LTCOL Robert R Darron, USMC (Ret)


On 30 March 2020, LtCol Robert Roy Darron, USMC (Ret), beloved husband, father, and grandfather, passed away peacefully from cérébral small vessel disease, with his wife by his side at their home in Ramona.

Born in San Diego on 14 July 1931, the son of a naval officer, Bob lived in many states. He graduated high school from New Mexico Military Institute in 1949 and, in September, was accepted as an NROTC midshipman at Oregon State College and elected the Marine Corps Option. He graduated in 1953 with a BA in Science.

Bob was commissioned as a 2d Lt on 5 June 1953, serving in Korea and multiple tours in Vietnam. Promoted to LtCol in 1966, he worked with the Defense Communication Planning Group as the HQMC Remote Sensor project officer. In 1970, Bob was assigned to Headquarters, Military Assistance Command Vietnam and was sent on temporary duty to the Military Advisor at the US/Vietnam Peace Talks in Paris. Returning to Vietnam, he was assigned temporary duty with the US Army XXIV Corps (Forward) in Quang Tri Province for the duration of Operation LAM SON 719. While serving as an aerial observer on a special reconnaissance mission, his actions earned him the Distinguished Flying Cross. Bob was extremely proud of this honor, as he was an infantry officer and was never put on flying status.

In August 1971, Bob began his final assignment was with the Navy Remote Sensors Project Office, Naval Electronic Systems Command, until his retirement in September 1975.
His other personal décorations include : Bronze Star with Combat V ; Joint Service Commendation Medal with Oakleaf Cluster ; Navy Commendation Medal with Combat V and Gold Star ; and Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry.

After retiring from the Marine Corps, Bob completed his MS in Administration (Research and Development Management) at George Washington University in June 1975.
Bob became a Senior Systems Engineer for The MITRE Corporation in 1976. His work assignments with MITRE attached him to the Office of the Secretary of Defense from 1978-84, and he provided on-site support in Hawaii, at Yokota Air Base in Japan, and in Panama. In 1985, Bob joined the MITRE site in San Diego where he remained until his retirement on 1 October 1993.

Bob continued serving his country as a docent at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, teaching Marine Corps history to young recruits, totaling 71,580 according to his personal records.

For many years, Bob was an active member of the San Diego Model Railroad Museum in Balboa Park, painstakingly creating a model of the San Diego Santa Fe Depot, and running HO-scale trains for the visiting public.

A faithful member of St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church, he served as an usher and Eucharistic Minister until his health declined.

Bob was very proud of his three children from his first marriage. In June 1973, Bob married Eleanor Imbriglio and they lived almost 47 amazing, joy-filled years together, sharing their home and hearts with seven cherished cats.

Bob was predeceased by his father CDR Roy Darron, his mother Marie Kirksey Darron, his son Robert R. Darron, Jr. (Joni Darron Fogelgren), and his precious granddaughter Miriam « Mimi » Wallerstein. He is survived by his loving wife Eleanor (Eli) Darron, his daughter Leah A. Darron (Richard S. Wallerstein, Jr.), and son Carl L. Darron (Anne R. Darron), and six grandchildren.

Our family wishes to extend deep appréciation, especially to Monica who was Bob’s caregiver for six weeks ; to Pacific Point Hospice & Palliative Care ; and to the home care aides at Home Care Assistance, all of whom provided excellent care.
Bob was interred on 9 April at Cypress View Mausoleum, 3953 Imperial Avenue, San Diego. A Memorial Mass at St. Gregory the Great Church will be announced and held at a later date.

Mémorial contributions may be sent to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital ; to Project Wildlife, c/o San Diego Humane Society ; or to Mimi Wallerstein’s Memorial Garden at St. Mary’s Family Center, c/o Bon Secours Richmond Health Care Foundation, 5008 Monument Avenue, 2nd Floor, Richmond VA 23230.

As the last verse of The Marines’ Hymn promises, « If the Army and the Navy ever look on Heaven’s scènes, They will find the Streets are guarded by United States Marines. » Bob Darron has reported to his final post. « Semper Fidelis, Marine. »