James Bennet Darden, Jr.

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Long-time resident and Clifton Funeral Home owner James “J.B.” Bennet Darden Jr., 87, passed away Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014 at his home. Services were held Thursday, Aug. 28, at First Baptist Church of Clifton. Interment followed in the Clifton Cemetery. Dr. Jerry Smith conducted the services and the Clifton Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements. James “J.B.” Bennet Darden Jr. was born on the Burney farm between Clifton and Meridian on Dec. 2, 1926. He was the son of Bessie Lee Burney and James B. Daren, Sr. He graduated from Meridian High School in 1944 and attended Clifton Junior College. In January 1945, he enlisted in the United States Army. He serviced in the South Pacific primarily in the Occupation of the Philippines. He returned home to Clifton after his discharge, and re-entered the Clifton Junior College. In the fall of 1947, J.B. enrolled in the Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science. He graduated from there in 1950, and returned to Clifton to become the embalmer for the Clifton Funeral Home, and to work in the furniture department of the Clifton Mercantile. In 1951, he married Joyce Maxine Hoff. She was the daughter of Alma Joyce Jenson and Milford Julian Hoff. “Teen” was employed by the Goodall-Witcher Hospital and the Clifton Medical Clinic most of her adult life working in the lab. She retired in 1972. In 1962, J.B. and Teen purchased the Clifton Funeral Home. J.B. has operated the Clifton Funeral Home for the past 50 plus years and has spent 60 plus years in the funeral home business. Along the way, He picked up the “Digger.” In 1971, he and Teen purchased the farm of Teen’s grandparents in the Norse community and remodeled the old farm house for their home. J.B. was known for his support of many different organizations through the years. He was a member of the American Legion, Clifton Lion’s Club, the Masons, the Karem Shrine, V.F.W., the Bosque Art Center, the Bosque Memorial Museum and the Clifton Chamber of Commerce. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church for many years and joined the First Baptist Church in the past year. He was known for his generous support of many different groups within the community donating to the American legion, V.F.W., the Clifton Volunteer Fire Department, the Rodeo Association, the Clifton Central Texas Youth Fair, Duck’s Unlimited, the Scouting programs, Little League and many other organizations. He has also given scholarships across the years to help a number of young men and women pursue their education. The Dardens were major contributors for the Clifton Medical Clinic expansion and several other community projects. In his earlier years, J.B. enjoyed cooking meals for friends at different gatherings. For years, J.B. fed the Karem Shriner’s after the annual rodeo parade. He was also a fixture mixing pancakes for the Clifton Lion’s Club pancake suppers. He was know for his hospitality and hosted many of his friends at his home every Friday for a meal and fellowship. He was an avid sportsman and enjoyed hunting and fishing. J.B. and Teen enjoyed many vacations on South Padre Island. He was a practical joker and his humor, joyful spirit, generosity, and community activism will be missed by many. J.B. was preceded in death by his wife, Joyce Maxine “Teen” Darden on May 28, 2004. He is survived by two nieces, Kay Greenwade and Marilyn Brough; long-time Funeral Home Director and employee, Freddie Odom and wife, Betty; longtime caregiver, Teresa Ratliff and husband, Jeff; his ranch foreman, Fernando Falcon and wife, Sarah, and their family; by caregiver, Jennifer Harvey; friend and caregiver, Glenda Strickland; by caregivers, Maria and Abraham Martinez, and a host of friends from Bosque County and beyond. Clifton Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
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