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Darrell attended a one room country school through 5th grade, at which time he transferred to Oakland Public School, where he was active in many activities including music and athletics and received 13 letters for athletic accomplishments. While attending Oakland High School, he had his first date on October 16, 1953 with the young lady, Karen Plumb, who became his wife on December 29, 1957. To this union they were blessed with three children: Lori, Steven and Debra, and five grandchildren.
Darrell received his Bachelors Degree from Simpson College and Masters Degree from Drake University. He was a band director in Pella and Montezuma for 13 years, after which he ran his own insurance and investment business for nearly 30 years, and retired at the age of 62. He was a Chartered Life Underwriter and Chartered Financial Consultant. Upon retiring from his business he drove a school bus for Pella Community Schools for 14 years. He also served as Mayor for the City of Pella from January 1, 2004, through December 31, 2011. In 2011, he was awarded the Hall of Fame Leadership Award.
Darrell enjoyed life to the fullest. Nothing gave him more satisfaction than helping other people. Whether it was helping coach little league ballplayers, helping young people learn the joys of playing a musical instrument, helping people to develop a financial plan to serve their needs, and as Mayor, working to be sure that the city was on the right track. Above all else, Darrell was extremely proud of his family and nothing gave him more satisfaction than watching them grow throughout the years. Darrell never lost sight of the fact that he was so fortunate to have his wife Karen, for 61 years to share the great memories with. Darrell said, Life was good and thanks to the Lord All Mighty, we were certainly blessed.
Darrell is survived by his wife Karen, their children: Lori and the late Stephen Van Hal of Pella, and their daughter Erin Van Hal, Steven and Stacy Dobernecker of Nevada, Iowa, and their sons: Christopher and Harold Dobernecker; and Debra Campbell of Pella, and her daughters Emily (Dakota) Stout and Megan Campbell. He is also survived by his aunt Margaret Wisdom of Beloit, Wisconsin, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Darrell was preceded in death by his parents Harold and Wynona Dobernecker and his son-in-law Stephen Van Hal.
Funeral services were held on January 18, at the First Baptist Church in Pella. Memorial donations may be given to First Baptist Church or Hospice of Pella. The Garden Chapel Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
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