Darwin Fred Cone passed away peacefully on June 4th, 2020. Dar, as he was known to friends was born October 13th, 1930 in Cleveland, OH.
Due to the illness of his father, Dar went to work at a very early age. One of his first real jobs was colorizing black and white photographs, literally painting in the colors. He would remain extremely artistic throughout his life, painting life-sized murals and even developing his technique for hand pinstriping automobiles, a lost art in todays world. In later life, he would paint a giant Busch beer can on the bottom of a swimming pool, free-hand. Despite leaving school to help support his family, Dar had a vocabulary that would rival a college professor. Because he was a devout reader and crossword puzzler, only the very brave would play Scrabble with Dar.
An avid outdoorsman, Dar enjoyed fishing and hunting. Bow hunting in the 40’s and 50’s was nothing like today. Dar’s weapons of choice were longbow and recurve. The use of these for hunting is as much “art” as skill. These outdoor pursuits would take a hiatus but he would spend a great deal of time fishing in later years.
As a young adult Dar established his affinity for motorcycles, specifically Harley Davidsons. Surplus WWII bikes were available and cheap. Dar would ride anywhere, no matter the weather. As a superintendent for Douglas Fence and Guardrail, he oversaw dozens of highway projects at a time during the Eisenhower Interstate Highway expansion, riding his Harley from job to job all over the Midwest.
A job opportunity took Dar to Pennsylvania in the mid 60’s where he ultimately broke out on his own by founding Cafco Fence Co. which would become one of the largest Fence Businesses in the state. Success had its perks and Dar was able to transition from motorcycles to Airplanes. Learning to fly was one of his most rewarding recreational pursuits, eventually buying his own Cessna 172, tail number N3908S. When on the ground and not at work, he could be found practicing small town politics as the President of town council in West Middlesex, PA. Western PA would be where he met the love of his life, Dorothy. The two were inseparable until the day he passed.
Never one to stay idle, Dar left PA, taking a position with a very large Fence and Guardrail company. Dar and Dorothy traveled extensively, managing and working on some of the largest fencing projects in the country. From Kansas City to the Bronx and every point in between, the two traveled project to project, adventure to adventure. While completing a large project in Texas, they decided they had found a home. Dar was proud to call himself a Texan for many decades.
Texas is where he reinvented himself, growing weary of fencing. Reading a Want Ad for garage door installers he thought “I can do that” and so a new career was born. Dar taught himself the business and became extremely successful. Living in one place gave him more recreational time. One of his passions was playing Dominoes with friends and family. He found he now had time to buy a motorcycle and rekindled his passion for fishing. Many mornings were spent riding his bike to one of the local lakes and “feeding the fish” as he sometimes called it. Dar always looked forward to the annual spring trout fishing trip in the Ozarks with friends and family.
One weekend, Dar attended a bike rally and purchased a raffle ticket. He received a call almost a year later. When asked “did you win a Harley?” his reply was “No, I won two!” Always lucky with slot machines and lottery tickets, now he had won a “His & Hers” package of two motorcycles! Dar tried to never miss the annual “Santa Toy Run” where he and a few thousand motorcycle riders raised hundreds of thousands of dollars so needy children would have a Merry Christmas.
Dar embraced his religious faith throughout his life. He firmly believed what Jesus Christ taught and always knew there was a glorious life waiting. As life is a fleeting moment, we will all see Dar again soon.
He is survived by his loving wife Dorothy, three daughters, Debbie of Arlington, TX, Darlene and husband Bob of Winter Garden, FL and Sandi and Bob of Ormond Beach, FL. Two sons, Dan “Danny” and wife Cheryl of Toledo, OH and Gary and wife April of Jupiter, FL. He also leaves behind three granddaughters, three great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren.
We will have a service at Grace Street Fellowship, 1516 W. Pioneer Pkwy in Arlington, TX 76013 on June 11th (Thursday) at 2:00 PM. The service will also be live-streamed on facebook.com/gracestreetfellowship.