2016-11-02 / Front Page

Dr. Larry Darling

Dr. Larry E. Darling, 73, of Roxbury, passed away peacefully Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016, at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City, surrounded by his loving family after courageously battling cancer for 16 years.

Born April 15, 1943 in Jamestown, Larry was the son of the late Gweneth Clement Darling and Glen C. Darling, Jr.

Larry is survived by his beloved wife of 47 years, Jeanne, of Roxbury: son Jeffrey and daughter-in-law Paula and their four children Jacob, Kyle, Peyton, and Liana of Schenevus; daughter Laurie Darling Gutheil and son-in-law Jason of Queensbury; son Christopher and girlfriend Kendal Sprague of Roxbury; sister Linda Powell and brother-in-law Dr. Joesef Powell of Conewango, brother and sister-in-law Vincent and Anne Warner of Masonville; brother and sister-in-law Charles and Philena Holdridge of Pontiac, MI; brother and sister-in-law Richard and Teri Holdridge of Bloomville; along with many nieces and nephews.

Larry’s love for registered Holsteins was passed down through multiple generations of the Darling Family.  Farming was in his blood.  As a boy, Larry was active in Future Farmers of America, New York Holstein Association, and 4-H.  Larry grew up in Conewango Valley and graduated from Pine Valley Central School (Chautauqua County) in 1961.   He played basketball and track and field, while excelling in the pole vault, by placing 1st in the county and 2nd in sectionals. Larry displayed his talents for the arts by participating in the school musical in each of his junior and senior years.  Larry was outstanding playing the French horn while being a member of the school marching and concert bands.  He was also selected to the prestigious Chautauqua All-County Band and a member of the FFA National Band.  He served as the state treasurer of the FFA and was exceptional showing cows in 4-H.  At the New York State fair, Larry was the state champion for judging cows, a four-generation feat accomplished by his father in 1936, as well as his son Jeff and grandson, Peyton.

Upon graduation, Larry operated the family farm for a year before heading to Ithaca to attend Cornell University.  Larry graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University in 1967.  He worked diligently at the Cornell dairy barns throughout his seven years at Cornell to pay for his education.  He was a member of Alpha Zeta, a fraternity devoted to the furtherance of agriculture and life sciences.    He continued his education at Cornell University and graduated in 1969 with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree.  He went to auctioneer school in Mason City, Iowa and volunteered his time and skills for decades as the auctioneer at the Delaware County Holstein Club at its annual spring calf sale at the Delaware County Fair and other community events. 

As a veterinarian, Larry took great pride in his work; his love for animals was exemplary in his demeanor, approach, and care.  He worked countless hours to save sick cows; never giving up on an injured animal if there was any chance of improvement. He expanded his education by obtaining accreditation as a licensed state veterinarian.  Throughout his career, Larry serviced over 50 dairy farms and held rabies clinics for small animals.  As a farmer, he understood the economics of the dairy farming industry and was always cognizant and fair with his services rendered.    

Larry was a leader in the community.  He served as a member of the Roxbury Central School Board for 10 years, while serving as board president for five years.   He was a member of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Delaware County and the Delaware County Holstein Club of which he also served as president.

A little more than a month after graduation, Larry married the love of his life, Jeanne Marie Holdridge on July 19, 1969.  The two of them embarked on a journey of family, friends, farming and veterinary medicine.   Larry was a true family man: with unwavering love and devotion to his family.  He enjoyed spending time watching his children and grandchildren play sports, show cows, and attend concerts.  He always made time to teach his children lifelong skills through preparation, planning, and showing registered Holsteins at the county, state, and national dairy shows.  One of Larry’s highlights in the show ring was watching Chris show his homebred intermediate calf Darling Farm Luke Jasmine at the 1997 mid-east fall national show in Louisville, KY.  Watching from the stands, Larry learned that Chris and Jasmine had defeated the 1997 open show World Dairy Expo winner. Larry loved to travel the world with his family and friends.  He traveled across the country multiple times visiting family and dairy friends from Cornell.  He traveled to Europe three times with the Saint Rose Women’s Soccer team.  Another highlight of Larry’s was being in Pensacola, FL in the fall of 2011.  He was strong enough to witness Laurie coach the women’s soccer team at Saint Rose to the 2011 National Championship. 

Larry was recognized as a master breeder from the Delaware County Holstein Club.  Along with his wife Jeanne, they were recognized as honorary members in 1992.  Larry proudly bred over 25 excellent cows and bulls along with one all-American and three junior all-American nominations with Holstein cattle.  In addition, he took great pride in earning five best bred and owned awards at National Holstein Shows along with receiving multiple premier breeder and exhibitor awards at the Delaware County Holstein Show.   His favorite cow, Jennie, lived to be 15 years.  She produced nearly 300,000 pounds of milk with over 10,000 pounds of butterfat.  Jennie has links to most of the offspring on the family farm over the past 25 years.

After battling cancer for five years, in 2006 Larry transitioned the Darling Farm and dairy production to organic.  He has been a strong supporter of the vision and direction of Organic Valley.

Besides his parents, Larry is predeceased by his sister Nancy Darling Chyu who died on October 24, 2000.

Larry left an indelible impression on everyone he met.  Those who knew Larry were drawn to his humor, quick wit, and charisma. Those who loved Larry will remember him for his compassionate and generous spirit.   He expected best efforts from his children and those he worked with.  Hard work was a virtue that he demonstrated every day.  He was a man with integrity, and lived each day with honor and pride.  

The family greatly appreciates family members and friends who helped take care of Larry throughout his tremendous battles with cancer.  A special thank you to Joanne McLaughlin, Dr. Esperanza Papadopoulos, Dr. Paul Hamlin, and the stem cell transplant and medical oncologist teams at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as well as the nurses and staff that cared for him.

Friends and family may call from 4 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 8 and Wednesday, Nov. 9 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Community Church in Delhi.  A memorial service will take place at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 9 at the Community Church in Delhi.  A reception will immediately follow the service at the church on Wednesday and a graveside service will occur at 3:30 p.m. at New Kingston Valley Cemetery, New Kingston.  Pastor Frank MacCracken will officiate the ceremony along with brother-in-law Pastor Charles Holdridge.

For memorial contributions, the family has established a fund for youth involved with fitting, showing, and judging dairy cattle at the Delaware County Fair.  In addition, a memorial scholarship will be created at Cornell University in the memory of Dr. Larry E. Darling for students who originated from a New York State dairy farm and enroll in the College of veterinary medicine at Cornell University.  Contributions can be sent to: Community Bank, 124 Delaware Street, Walton, NY 13856, c/o Dr. Larry E. Darling Memorial Fund.

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