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Darden, Mildred

In Memory of Mildred Darden

Mildred Darden was a true southern lady; gentile of spirit, careful of decorum, and delightful to experience. All of us fortunate enough to have had Mildred in our lives can remember a time when she provided the right suggestion for correctness, the right addition to a decor, or the perfect accessory to make a new outfit more stunning. Our lives contain the memories of the silent, elegant, and tasteful touches of Mildred. A well-chosen mirror, a sweater the exact match, or a verb remembered and corrected are constant reminders of the influence she had on our lives.

Mildred Darden and her sisters — Dorothy Eloise and Eulalia Rebecca — were the daughters of Joe and Nettie Hollowell Darden. They grew up in Kenly in the lovely southern mansion known as the Joe Darden House. Mildred attended Kenly High School where she began friendships that would last her lifetime. Although she did not stay in Kenly after high school, she treasured her heritage there and stayed close to her friends and family.

Mildred attended college in Blacksburg, Virginia, and then received a degree in education from Greensboro College, North Carolina. Mildred taught for over four decades in public schools, having jobs in Selma, Williamston, and Mooresville before retiring while teaching in Burlington, North Carolina. She was a member of the ADK Teacher's Society.

Being active religiously, she first joined the Kenly Methodist Church and later moved her membership to the Front Street Methodist Church in Burlington.

Her hobbies exemplified her characteristics. She enjoyed playing bridge with her friends, and the beauty of needlepoint which she used to enhance her home decor as well as those of her friends and family.

Further compliments about Mildred abound. Her niece Patsy Jenkins Meals said, "'Sister' took me under her wing and taught me manners and social graces."

Another of Mildred's nieces, Cindy Atkins Davis, remembered, "'Sister' would let me come in early in the morning and play on her beautiful four-poster bed with an antique China doll. Also, she made sure I used proper grammar when she was around."

Her nephew Knox Jenkins stated, "Her devotion to family and friends spanned the twentieth century. She was able to adapt to a changing world and maintain the values of the past."

On January 24, 1995, Mildred passed away leaving her memory to her friends and a touch of southern class to those who knew her.

Descendants of Mildred's early childhood friends donated this memorial page. They benefited from their association with Mildred whom they remembered as setting an example of poise, joy, and high expectations. They believe they are better people because of their dear friend whom they will miss.

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