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David F. Darrell, Harford County landscape architect, dies

David F. Darrell was a semi-retired Harford County landscape architect.
David F. Darrell was a semi-retired Harford County landscape architect. (Baltimore Sun)

David F. Darrell, a semi-retired Harford County landscape architect, died Sept. 9 of brain cancer at Hart Heritage, an assisted living facility in Street. He was 69.

The son of James Harris Darrell, a scientist, and Helen Downes Darrell, a homemaker, David Franklin Darrell was born and raised in Claymont, Del., and was raised on his family's farm.

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After graduating in 1965 from Claymont High School, he earned an associate's degree in 1966 from Alfred State, the State University of New York, in Alfred, N.Y.

Mr. Darrell's interest in horticulture and animals was influenced by his parents and grandfather, and began in his early years.

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In 1972, he earned bachelor's degree from the University of Georgia in Athens, and was licensed in both Maryland and Alabama to practice as a landscape architect.

Mr. Darrell founded Darrell Landscape Associates in Baldwin in 1980, and later moved the business to Bel Air.

Some of his commissions included the prayer garden at Greater Baltimore Medical Center, the Largo Animal Preserve in Prince George's County, Little Lithuania Park near Hollins Market, as well as site development for Nottingham Regional Park in Fairfax, Va., city and Baltimore County public schools, and other clients. He also designed courtyards and tennis courts, family members said.

He was diagnosed with brain cancer a year ago and was semi-retired at the time of his death.

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"David came into my life in August 2006," said his wife of three years, Edna Uttenreither.

"I was looking for someone to create a new garden. I looked in the Yellow Pages and five people came to interview," said Ms. Uttenreither. "There was something about him. He studied the plants with big, gentle hands, he trimmed and shaped them. He was hired on the spot."

Ms. Uttenreither described her husband as a "caring, cooperative individual."

Mr. Darrell was a lifelong railway fan — he had attributed his interest to a grandfather who worked as a technician in New Jersey for the old Trenton Street Railway Co., later the Trenton Transit Co.

In his younger days, Mr. Darrell had been an active Mason.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Schimunek Funeral Home, 610 W. McPhail Road, Bel Air.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Darrell is survived by a son, Emrys Darrell of Annapolis; a daughter, Mary Emlyn Damberg of Maryland; two brothers, James H. Darrell II of Statesboro, Ga. and Daniel D. Darrell of Spokane; and a grandson. An earlier marriage to the former Mary Jean Rehak ended in divorce.

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