Macon County Chronicle

Charles Edward Darnell

Charles Edward Darnell passed away at Knollwood Manor in Lafayette on Monday March 1st, 2021 beside his wife, Frances. He was 84. Charlie was the second son and third child born on a rural farm in Bedford County to Marcus Edward Darnell and Mary Lee (Bell) Darnell. 

He had a love of baseball and farm life, both of which he carried throughout his life. He met his life partner Frances Cassetty in a Chemistry class at the University of Tennessee, and on a rather hot July (1st) day in Whittleyville, TN they were married in 1961. They moved to Franklin, TN where they started raising a family. Charlie first worked as a feed salesman for Cargill Feed Company with a territory in Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky. Then he was offered a position as a cashier at Harpeth National Bank in Franklin where he worked for approximately five years. On a summer day as he was finishing the practice of the Pony League baseball team he was coaching, two men got out of their car and wanted to talk to him about a job he had inquired about. A short time later it was announced that Charlie Darnell would be the new President and CEO of Citizens Bank in Lafayette, TN. Charlie took over in 1972 a bank that had one location and approximately $14 million in assets. By the time he retired Citizens Bank would be a multi-million dollar organization with 20 locations across the Upper Cumberland. 

While in Lafayette, Charlie served on the Macon Community Hospital Board for over 35 years, served as an advisor to the financial committee of the 4-H Alumni Foundation, was a local Will Hall Sullivan Award winner, served on the Alumni Board of the University of Tennessee, and was elected as President of the Tennessee Bankers Association. Charlie loved baseball and his cows. By his estimate he taught boys and girls not only about baseball, but also “the game of life” for over 45 years, 33 of them in the Lafayette Little League. 

He was able to be with Frances in his last days and is survived by her, a daughter Katherine (Dirk) Ebener, a son Marcus (Lena) Darnell, and grandchildren Caleb Darnell, Lora Darnell, and Kaylin Ebener. The family will receive visitors at Anderson Funeral Home in Lafayette on Saturday March 6th from 12 to 6. A private service will be held for the family at a later date. 

The family requests that in lieu of visititation or flowers and due to Covid-19, donations be made to the Lafayette Little League or the Lafayette Church of Christ, or a charity of your choosing.