Lillian Hyde Darby, aged 96 years, passed away peacefully at home in Montgomery with family present on September 23, 2021. Lillian descended from prominent pioneer families who settled in Conecuh County in the early 19th century. She was born on July 31, 1925, to Joseph Clifford Hyde and Audie Johns Hyde, who lived in Mount Union. She often spoke fondly of growing up in a happy family with her two sisters, Marjorie Hyde Harper and Mildred Hyde McNeil. She was also predeceased by her husband of 67 years, Emmett Eugene Darby.
Lillian is survived by her daughter, Janice Darby, and her son Larry Darby, both of whom live in Montgomery, and her granddaughters, Danielle Darby (Cameron) Payne of Chattanooga, and Adrienne Darby of Birmingham. Lillian is believed to be the last graduate of the Evergreen High School Class of 1943. She collected obituaries of her classmates and strived to maintain contact with as many as possible until they were gone. Lillian’s passions in life included gardening, genealogical research, and her family. Even after suffering a stroke in July 2020, Lillian often spoke of looking forward to being able to again work in her flower beds. Lillian began compiling records of family history in the 1970s and enjoyed responding to frequent inquiries over the decades from researchers who enjoyed her ability to remember an unusually large number of her life experiences in vivid detail. Being a traditional Southern lady, Lillian’s greatest passion was her family. Although a member of the Evergreen UMC, she attended and was active in Olive Branch Baptist Church with Eugene, Jan, and Larry. When Sparta Academy expanded into a high school, she worked as hard as any other parent in getting that daunting project off the ground. When Danielle and Adrienne were born, Lillian took great pleasure in their development and passing on family values and homemaking skills.
Lillian Darby’s life and memory will be cherished by her friends and family. A graveside service at Olive Branch Baptist Church at Owassa is scheduled October 23, 2021, at 1:00 PM, and will be officiated by Diane Williford with music by John Lemley.