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Eric Dexter Darden

Eric Dexter Darden

Dec 27, 1959 - Mar 26, 2024

Eric Dexter Darden - Obituary


ric, also lovingly referred to as “Baby Brother” by his family, was the son of the late Paul Darden, Sr. and the late Lela Mae Darden. He was born on December 27, 1959, in Snow Hill, N.C. and was the youngest of seven children. Eric joined Washington Branch Free Will Baptist Church at an early age where he was very active. He was educated in the North Carolina Greene County School System. He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the Air Force through the ROTC Program at North Carolina A&T State University, in Greensboro, N.C. Upon graduation he was assigned as a Missile Operations Officer with 351st SMW, 510th SMS at Whiteman Air Force Base, Knob Nobster, MO. While there, he received the Air Force commendation medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Combat Readiness Medal, Airforce Longevity Service Award Medal, and the Air Force Training Ribbon. He was also selected to attend a Squadron Officers School in Residence at Maxwell AFB, Alabama. After completion of his initial assignment in 1987, he was reassigned to the Air Force ROTC Detachment 130, Howard University, Washington, D.C. where he was an assistant professor of Aerospace Studies. While there he was selected for Regular Air Force. Eric earned a BS from A&T State University and a MBA from the University of Missouri-Columbia. While at Howard University, Eric reunited with the love of his life, Jeanette Ward whom he married in 1990. They have one son, Lawrence and daughter-in-law, Loana and two beautiful granddaughters, Layla and Luciana. Eric has been an active member of Woodstream Church for over 27 years, serving faithfully as a deacon for 17 years. He also, along with his wife Jeanette, served as church coordinators for Crown Financial Ministries and ministry leaders for the Woodstream Financial Stewardship Ministry for 18 years. Eric was passionate in all of these roles, but more so with Crown which allowed him to use his exemplary teaching skills and become intimate with those he served. He was honored to be selected by the Pastor to serve as Chairman of the “It’s About Your Heart” Campaign to increase giving contributions to the Woodstream Family Life Center. Throughout his professional career Eric held several leadership positions. Most recently, Eric had a long tenure with the United States Postal Service where he served faithfully in their prestigious Management Program for over 20 years. He valued his work and was always passionate about teaching and helping others. Eric leaves to cherish his memory and carry on his legacy his loving and devoted wife, Jeanette Darden; son, Lawrence Ward (Loana) of Maple Grove, MN; two grandchildren, Layla Fay Ward and Luciana Marley Ward of Maple Grove, MN.; two brothers, Melvin Darden (Judy) and Wayne Darden (Patricia) of Snow Hill NC; three sisters, Dorothy Forbes of Wilson, NC, Brenda Hodges of Snow Hill, NC, and Marsha Britt of Durham, NC; two brothers-in-law, Thurman Ward and Donnie Ward of Stantonsburg, NC; and three sisters-in-law, Ethel Carter and Linda Ward-King of Largo, MD, and Bernice Sharpe of Wilson, NC; and a host of other cherished relatives and friends. Relatives and friends are invited to gather on Wednesday, April 3rd from 10-11 until the funeral service begins at 11:00 at Woodstream Church: 9800 Lottsford Rd, Bowie, MD 20721.