Richard Hammon Darner
Richard Hammon Darner
September 21, 1953 - September 16, 2020
Richard Hammon Darner, age 66, passed away on September 16, 2020.
Memorial services will be at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 26th at Lunn’ Chapel with Rev. Howard Walker of 1st Christian Church of Henrietta officiating. Arrangements are under the direction of Lunn's Colonial Funeral Home.
Richard was born on September 21, 1953, in Wichita Falls, Texas, to Richard Ranney Darner and Corinne Hammon Darner. From the age of 13 until his graduation in 1972, he attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, where he made many lifelong friends and got into his fair share of trouble. He loved Phillips Academy and continued to support the institution throughout his life, and he always looked forward to reuniting with his Andover classmates and friends every few years on the East Coast.
During his time at Andover, Richard was a foreign exchange student in Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico. There, he taught the police force English and immersed himself in the local culture. He loved to tell stories of playing basketball against the police force, with the whole town in attendance to watch the matchup. He never seemed to mention who won the basketball games.
Richard went on to attend Tulane University in one of his favorite places in the world, New Orleans, Louisiana. He spent many years in the 1970s and 1980s in New Orleans, where he eventually owned an out-of-the-way establishment, Maxwell’s, with his best friend from childhood and Tulane roommate, Randy Crenshaw. Richard loved to tell stories of his Maxwell’s days, which often included famous rock musicians and their almost-unbelievable escapades. New Orleans was a great fit because he loved rock music and could tell you anything you wanted to know about any band or song from that era. He loved New Orleans deeply, and though he eventually left to pursue a career in oil and gas, his appetite for Cajun food continued long after he left The Big Easy.
Like his father before him, many knew Richard for his work in the oil and gas industry, in which he honed his craft as a landman for 40+ years. He made many friends in this industry, all of whom loved Richard and spoke very kindly of him. His work took him all around the state of Texas, from West Texas – where he often complained of the desert temperatures – to Houston and central Texas. Wherever his work took him, he made friends and enjoyed building relationships in the industry. As an avid Texas Longhorns fan, he loved to flaunt his Longhorns pride amongst all the Aggies with whom he worked.
Richard was an avid and talented tennis player. He started around age 10 at Weeks Park in Wichita Falls, and from a young age, he participated in tournaments around the state of Texas and beyond. He also loved to watch tennis on TV, as well as any other sport that was on air. His favorite was basketball, and he was a proud San Antonio Spurs fan. He continued to play tennis at Andover, and as an adult, he played competitively in San Antonio, where he resided for much of his life. He served as team captain for his team in San Antonio and led them to victory in numerous USTA tournaments. Throughout his tennis career, he won many championships and trophies and worked very hard at his craft, earning a reputation for his killer one-handed backhand.
Before anyone had ever heard of an iPhone or iPod, Richard collected vintage Apple computers and accessories. He was very knowledgeable about Apple’s storied history and was fascinated by their innovative products. His training as a landman lent itself to this pursuit, as he traveled far and wide to hunt Apples, often digging through bins at secondhand stores and hunting down items as only an experienced landman could. As with anything he did, he was passionate about his collection, and he was very successful in obtaining many prized, rare products. Throughout his time buying and selling vintage Apple computers, he got to know many other well-known collectors and made many friends, as he did in every area of his life.
Richard was beloved by so many, and everyone who knew him could tell you that he was a hard worker. He knew the industry of oil and gas better than anyone else. That was not for luck, but for many, many years of hard work. He loved to work and never once talked about retiring, just like so many other Texas oilmen. He worked hard at not only his job as a landman, but also at anything else he was passionate about. Whatever he chose to pursue, he voraciously learned anything he could about it, and elevated it and shared that knowledge with those around him.
He was known also for his incredible generosity and big heart. He was passionate about helping those who are less fortunate, and above all, he was a great father, brother, and friend. He loved his family deeply and found great joy in time spent visiting with family and friends near and far.
He had a wry sense of humor and was always quick with a joke. He often said God cursed him with an astute memory, for he could perfectly remember all the mistakes he had made, but those who loved Richard enjoyed hearing his many stories, ranging from summers spent at Possum Kingdom Lake to encounters with the rich and famous in New Orleans to time spent working with Texas giants like Clayton Williams. He never exaggerated his stories – he told them in such a way that they were extraordinary enough in their truth.
He was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his daughter, Kirsten Corinne Darner, and her partner, Patrick Moore; son, Matthew Johns; sister, Janet Louise Darner McCurry; nieces Megan Ruth McCurry, and Lauren Corinne McCurry Scurry and husband Tom; his brother, Wayne Ranney Darner and wife Donna; niece Madison Jane Darner; nephew Christopher Wayne Darner; and many beloved friends.
For those desiring, memorial gifts can be made to Thoracic Head & Neck Medical Oncology at MD Anderson.