Colonel Darrel A. McFerron, beloved husband, son, father, grandfather and child of God, passed away on Sunday, August 1, 2021, at his home.
Colonel McFerron was 80 years of age and lived in New Concord, KY. Colonel McFerron was preceded in death by his wife of 54 years, Karin L. McFerron; his parents, Clarence B. and Esther E. McFerron; and one twin sister, Carol A. Duffy. He is survived by a son, John R. McFerron and wife Trudi; a daughter, Molly Parker and husband Keith; and five grandchildren, Emily, Jacob and Nicholas McFerron and Samuel and Grace Parker.
Colonel McFerron was raised in Southwest Missouri and attended Missouri State University where he played football and served as the co-captain of the 1961 team. Concurrent with his graduation in 1962, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Regular Army. His military career spanned 30 years of active duty. This included a wide assortment of duties and responsibilities at various levels ranging from Platoon Airborne Leader to Brigade Level Command. Most proudly he served as a Battalion Commander in America's elite 82nd Airborne Division. His foreign tours included a tour in Korea, Vietnam, and three tours in West Germany. He also served twice at Murray State University initially as Assistant Professor of Military Science from 1976 – 1979 and then as Professor of Military Science from 1982 to 1984. His military awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal and Army Commendation Medal with V Device plus numerous campaign and service medals. He is also a recipient of the Combat Infantryman Badge, Master Parachutist Badge and Air Assault Badge. Colonel McFerron was a graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College and the Army War College. During his final tour in Germany, he served as a Deputy Community Commander for a major command and was responsible for quality of life programs for soldiers and their families and fostering relationships with citizens of our hosting nation. Upon his retirement in 1992, he was recognized by the German Parliament for his leadership in promoting German/American relations with the presentation of the prestigious Das Grosse Verdienstkreuz (service to the people). It was presented to Colonel McFerron by the German Ambassador to the United States in Washington DC in October 1992. He was also a member of the American Legion Post 73.
Like most veterans, he served his community after retiring. He was a long time member of the Murray Lions Club, serving as the president (2001-2002) and has been recognized as a Melvin Jones Fellow. He served on various civic organizations as an active board member having chaired various committees. He served ten years on the Murray Calloway Transit Board, eight years on the Murray Main Street Board, six years on the United Way Board, three years on the Purchase area District Council on Aging and two years on the Way of Wellness Board. Colonel McFerron was honored by the Murray Rotary Club with their Humanitarian Service Award for "Service Above Self" for 2013-14. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Murray having served as a Trustee and a member of the Stewardship and Finance Committee Chairman. For the church's major renovation during 2002-04, he served as the Chairman of the Building Oversight Committee.
Colonel McFerron and his wife traveled extensively visiting many faraway places with other retired military friends. They often traveled to visit friends in Germany and New Zealand. Colonel McFerron's passion was growing flowers, especially Zinnias, which he enjoyed sharing with fellow church members and neighbors. He also enjoyed piddling on his small cattle farm and in 2016 was recognized as a Master Conservationist for Calloway County.
A visitation will be held from 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m., on Monday, August 9, 2021, at the J.H. Churchill Funeral Home & Cremation Services with Bro. Keith Inman and Bro. Boyd Smith officiating. A funeral service will be held following the visitation at 2:00 p.m., on Monday, August 9, 2021, at the J.H. Churchill Funeral Home & Cremation Services. The burial will be held at 11:30 a.m., on Tuesday, August 10, 2021, at the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis, MO. Murray Lions Club Members and Bill Adams Sunday School Class Members will serve as honorary pallbearers.
Expressions of sympathy can be made to the Murray-Calloway County Need Line, 509 North Eighth Street, Murray, KY 42071 or to the Anna Mae Owen Residential Hospice House, 803 Poplar Street, Murray, KY 42071.
Online condolences can be made at, www.thejhchurchillfuneralhome.com