On October 27, 1952, God blessed Norman Blackwell and Margaret Mae Jeter Blackwell with twins, Darnell and Carnell. Carnell passed away at six months old. Darnell was a survivor who fought through numerous health issues throughout his latter adult life. Darnell knew that he was kept by God. After a gallant battle with health challenges, he was called to be with the Lord on September 25, 2021.
As a child, Darnell was baptized and attended Union Baptist Church in Crewe, VA. He attended Nottoway County Public Schools, graduating in 1972. He later moved to Brooklyn, New York. He later moved to Brooklyn, New York where he met his first wife, Joyce “Poochie” Bethea, who preceded him in death. To this union were born two beautiful children, Darnell Jr. and Shemiah, who were the pride of their parents’ lives.
In New York, Darnell worked as an orderly for Kings County Hospital and later worked as a traffic enforcement agent for the City of New York. He returned to Virginia after living in New York for over 25 years. In Virginia, he worked many jobs, including working in patient transport and security at MCV Hospital, Richmond Community Hospital and DaVita Dialysis, where he still worked daily and encouraged dialysis patients.
Darnell blessed many people with his quiet strength and made them laugh with his sharp sense of humor. After becoming an amputee in 2004, de did not allow a disability to hinder him. Darnell didn’t let the disability diminish him; instead he proudly wore his artificial leg like a badge of honor. He continued to persevere, work and inspire others. While recovering at Sheltering Arms Rehabilitation Center, Darnell met his second wife, Margaret Bolden, who was also born a twin and lost her sibling at an early age. Margaret became the love of Darnell’s life. The “twins” were married in 2008, joined Gospel Baptist Church in Richmond and brought together a beautiful blended family.
Darnell kept a positive “can-do” spirit and a sense a humor, especially about losing his leg. He cherished watching movie and gardening with his wife, time spent with his children, grandchildren and siblings. He loved old cars, reading novels and rooting for the Washington Redskins.
He is survived by his loving wife, Margaret; son, Darnell Blackwell, Jr.; daughters, Shemiah Blackwell, Bonnie Pryor (Jim), Mechelle Bolden and Aletta Ford (Derrick); a devoted brother, David Blackwell (Myrna) and three devoted sisters, Gloria, Glenda and Lorraine Blackwell; eleven grandchildren (Essence, Amani, Clarissa, Shemyah, Tamia, Kateena, Frank, Tamieka, Derrick, Davon and devoted granddaughter Satoya; six great-grandchildren; an aunt, Nan Jeter of New Haven, CT and a host of cousins and friends.
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