William “Lefty” Darden Sr.

Published 3:03 pm Tuesday, August 18, 2020

William Howard Darden Sr., “Lefty,” 87, the husband of Hazel Crockett Darden, of Poplarville, Miss., passed away from COVID-19 on Aug. 12, 2020, at Our Lady of the Angels Hospital in Bogalusa.

Born July 3, 1933, in Marvel, Ala., he was the son of the late Milstead and Lela Darden.

Lefty was a Sergeant in the Louisiana National Guard for over 15 years and served in the army during the Korean War. He was an active sportsman and loved all activities outdoors. He was a great left-handed pitcher, which landed him the nickname “Lefty.” He played for Gaylord in Bogalusa and even played on a team in Japan while overseas. He would send photos and write back to his sister, Louise, often saying, “Lou, they aren’t any good. I have a 4 and 1 record and an average of 375.” He coached and umpired little league baseball for over 30 years in Bogalusa and played softball until he was in his late 50’s.

He was an avid fisherman and loved to go fishing in Lafitte with his late sister, Louise, son, grandsons and great-grandsons. He loved to boast about his big catch and even caught the attention of the local newspaper, The Bogalusa Daily News to feature him and a big catch with the caption, “Frank Davis ain’t got nothing on me.” He also loved to work in his garden and enjoyed sharing his “special secrets” with his grandkids on their gardens. He grew the best turnip greens and red tomatoes and loved to share them with his family and friends.

He was the biggest jokester who was always down to have a good time! He loved to be the center of attention and could always be found dancing and singing on the dance floor of weddings! He loved his Alabama football and Atlanta Braves. You can bet, if he wasn’t at the game cheering on his team, he was watching it on TV.

He and his wife, Hazel, shared their love for the Lord by attending Oak Hill and Crossroads Pentecostal Churches.

He is survived by the love of his life, Hazel Crockett Darden and their pup Breezy of Poplarville. He is survived by sons William H. Darden Jr. “Billy” and his wife Delia of Calera, Ala., Darrell W. Darden and his wife Melissa of Poplarville, and his daughter, Sharon D. Tobara of Denham Springs.

He is survived by his grandchildren, Michelle Overton and husband Shane, Jorge Cordova and fiancé Michelle Fuller, Angela Darden, William H. Darden III “Little Billy” and wife Cristina, Chris Darden and fiancé Maegan Paige, Austin Darden and wife Rachel, Erika Smith, Kristina Fresina and husband Chris, Amanda Richard and husband Chase.

He is also survived by his great-grandchildren, Jarrod Cordova and fiancé Tyler Emerson, Taylor Cordova, Megan Overton, Isabella Overton, Reed Richard, Audree Richard, Ryan Fresina, Ella Fresina and Abel Williams.

In addition to his late parents, Milstead and Lela Darden, he was predeceased by his brothers, Gene Darden and wife Katherine, Harvey Darden and wife Bobbie, J.D. Darden and wife Dean; his sisters, Exer Fullman and husband Will, Louise Busby and husband Tap, Lois Crockett and husband Clyde; his son-in-law, Roger Tobara; sisters-in-law, Christine Russell and husband Mike Russell, and Ella Ruth Batten; brother-in-law, Wilford Crockett; father and mother-in-law, Wiley and Dora Crockett; along with several special nieces and nephews.

Special thanks to Margie Tynes, Kathy Wheat, Hilma Williams, niece Jodi Morris and the entire staff of Our Lady of the Angels Hospital in Bogalusa.

While flowers are welcome, the family requests that any memorial donations be made to Oak Hill Pentecostal Church, 105 W Ida Ave., Poplarville, MS 39470.

The wake will be Friday, Aug. 21, from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. The funeral service will be Saturday, Aug. 22, from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m.

Both services will be held at Poole Ritchie Funeral Home (216 Alabama Ave. in Bogalusa). Burial will proceed with a funeral service at Ponemah Cemetery (on Louisiana Avenue in Bogalusa)

Arrangements have been entrusted to Poole-Ritchie Funeral Home and Crematory. Condolences may be shared on the Poole-Ritchie website at www.pooleritchiefuneralhome.com.