Darrel Lee Rivenbark, Sr., age 74, of Wallace, NC, passed away Thursday, September 24, 2020, at home with family.
He was born in Kinston, NC on March 15, 1946, son of the late Ivey “Buddy” Lee Rivenbark, Jr. and Ruby J. Henderson Rivenbark Smith. Darrel was preceded in death by his sister Sandra Ilene Wait and grandson Jeffery Ross Austin.
Darrel grew up in Wallace and lived most of his life in Duplin County where he was raised by loving parents who taught him the value of hard work and the importance of family. He attended Wallace-Rose Hill High School, then enlisted in the Air Force and was stationed in Phoenix, Arizona and Anchorage, Alaska. His time in Alaska was one of the most enjoyable times of his life and was where he had opportunities for once-in-a-lifetime experiences. After graduating from UNCW, he worked for American General Life Insurance Company in Fayetteville and Kinston where he also raised his four children. He worked in transportation logistics in Wilmington before his retirement.
Darrel had a quick wit and loved to laugh. He enjoyed meeting and talking to people from all walks of life. He was an avid reader and learned all he could about whatever interest he had at the time. Darrel loved to build and tinker and became skilled at woodworking. He built and adapted items to suit his needs and used that talent to help others as well. He had a lifelong fascination with airplanes and found great happiness watching planes and learning about flying. He inherited a love of the outdoors and gardening from his mother and spent many hours taking care of his yard. He took great pride in his flower gardens and in each bloom. Darrel also had a passion for college basketball, especially Carolina, and always looked forward to conversations with his mother and brother about the game.
A lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Darrel was strongly rooted in his faith and openly shared that with his family and friends. He served in a variety of church callings over the years and spent many hours volunteering service to others. His talents of home repair and building as well as hard work were generously shared with family, friends and strangers.
Darrel is survived by his wife of 25 years, Kathy Rivenbark, children Alicia Young (Thomas), Joy Allen (Jason), Lee Rivenbark (Danielle) and Ben Rivenbark as well as grandchildren Tommy, Macey, Cameron, Avery, Jacob, Caroline, Ethan, Scott, Isaac, Eli, Luke, Sam, Hailey and Matthew, brother Dannie Rivenbark (Patsy) and brother-in-law Danny Wait (Teresa). Also remaining is Darrel’s faithful four-legged companion, Jack, who brought him so much comfort and joy. Darrel’s family was his greatest treasure, and he was happiest when he could be around them.
Graveside funeral service will be held with military honors at 12 Noon on Saturday, September 26, 2020 at Riverview Memorial Park with President Tom Roper officiating the service.
The family would like to express their deepest gratitude to their brother, Ben, for his compassionate, dedicated, and tireless care of their dad. He exemplified Christ-like service and unwavering love in caring for their dad until the very end. Words are not enough to adequately express our appreciation and love.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Lower Cape Fear Life Care, 1414 Physicians Drive Wilmington, NC 28401 or the Pender Humane Society, PO Box 626 Burgaw, NC 28425 Phone: (910) 259-7022 or online at penderhumanesociety.org.
You may share your memories and send condolences to the family by selecting our Tribute Wall above.
Quinn-McGowen Funeral Home of Wallace is serving the Rivenbark family. 910-285-4005
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Darrel Lee Rivenbark, please visit our floral store.