Dr. Marshall Darnell


Marshall was born on November 15, 1937 in Harrodsburg. Kentucky to James Milton and Elizabeth Robinson Darnell. Even as a child, Marshall had the ability to lift the spirits of all those around him. He managed to lighten the mood wherever he was. He seemed to have a knack for bringing compromise and easing tensions. Marshall was raised with two siblings: older brother

J.C., known to all as "Red," and an older sister, Theora. Marshall took part in football and ran track, was a Boy Scout, and participated in church activities. In his spare time, he liked riding his bike and hunting. Memorable achievements included being an extra in two movies, including Raintree County.  He briefly held the state record for the 100-yard dash. During high school and college Marshall also worked in a restaurant and served as an assistant manager. Ask anyone who knew him from school and they would tell you that Marshall was a class "cut-up." He didn't do it to be unkind or to garner all the attention. Rather, Marshall simply enjoyed others' laughter and the sounds of his friends and acquaintances having a good time.

For Marshall, grades were the most important thing, and he enjoyed his school experience. Marshall graduated from Harrodsburg High School in 1956. His favorite was English. The teacher he enjoyed learning from the most was Miss Aimee Alexander.

Marshall earned his A.A. from Campbellsville College in 1958; his B.A. and M.A. from Eastern Kentucky State College in 1960 and 1964; and his Ed.D from University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 1977. Marshall served as the President of an Honor Society at Campbellsville College and at Eastern; he was a member of World Affairs Club and OAKS.

On August 1, 1964, Marshall exchanged wedding vows with Patsy Lucile Pace at First Baptist Church of Richmond, Kentucky. He was always sensitive to others feelings, and that was especially true in marriage. Perhaps the reason Marshall related so well to children was the fact that he never really completely grew up himself. The ability to be just a "kid at heart" helped him in raising his own children.  Marshall was blessed with two children: Theresa Michele and James Marshall as well as two grandchildren: Elizabeth Lucile Paul and Evan Darnell. He delighted his children and grandchildren with stories of unicorns, eagles, and bears. Marshall became a substitute teacher in 1961 and remained with the Clark County School District until his retirement. During this time he was a teacher, counselor, Assistant Director of Secondary Education, Director of Curriculum, Director of Vocational Education and other various positions.

In 2012, at his 50th reunion at Eastern Kentucky State University, he was inducted into the Hall of Distinguished Alumni, and in recognition of his many years of service to the school district and community, the School Board named an elementary school in his honor.  Dr. Marshall C. Darnell Elementary School opened in the fall of 2001. One of his greatest joys was being able to visit the school and interact with the administration, faculty, and students. Throughout his later years, Marshall was an active member of the Phi Delta Kappa, Clark County Association of School Administrators, National Association Secondary School Principals, Association Supervision Curriculum Development, American Vocational Association, Clark County Vocational Association, and National Parent-Teacher Association. Outspoken in his beliefs, yet tactful in his dealings with others, Marshall was a member of several community groups, serving on committees for the Las Vegas Southwest Rotary Club (Member and Past-President), Group Leader for Rotary International Group Study Exchange Team to the Philippines, Executive Board with the Boy Scouts of America, Executive Board of March of Dimes, Scholarship Chairman, I.B.E.W. District Sponsored Executive United Way Campaign, and a committee member of the American Heart Association. Vested with a deep concern for the spiritual development, Marshall recognized that his faith was important to him throughout his life.

Some of his most prestigious awards included Excellence in Education Hall of Fame CCSD, Honorary Life Membership National Parent-Teacher Association, Special White House Invitation for Vocational Educational Legislation, Honorary Membership in National FBLA, DECA, FHA, FFA, Graduated with Distinction, 1960, 1964, 1977, United Way Sponsored Executive Award, Service Award, NAASP Service Award, BSA Service Award, Clark County District and Who's Who in the West. Marshall believed that one had to experience life, and his life in retirement was no different. When that day finally arrived in 1990, Marshall took it in stride as one more way to have fun. He found new pleasure in the Las Vegas Southwest Rotary where he held several offices. Marshall was active on the Spanish Oaks Homeowners Association where he was a board member and served as President for several years.

Marshall brought joy to all of those around him. He never had a mean bone in his body. He loved to have a good time and was an eternal optimist, always looking on the bright side of things. He loved to share his energy, wit, and his zest for all of his activities with his friends and family.  Dr. Marshall C. Darnell lived his life to the fullest and made everyone around him happier just for knowing him. He will be remembered with a smile, and missed deeply at Marshall C. Darnell Elementary School.