Ella “Lella” Lancaster Jones Darden

June 11, 1927 - September 18, 2016

06/11/1927 - 09/18/2016

Past Services

Saturday September 24, 2016
1:00 pm
First Baptist Church of Ahoskie
312 Main Street West
Ahoskie, NC 27910
Additional Information:

Rev. Anita Thompson will be officiating the service.

The family will receive friends in the Fellowship Hall immediately following the service.

AHOSKIE, NC – Ella “Lella” Lancaster Jones Darden left this earthly life on Sunday, September 18, 2016 at her home in Ahoskie.

Lella was born June 11, 1927 in Riverton, NC to Joseph Henry Jones, Sr. and Euphemia Watson Jones. She was reared in Boiling Springs, NC, and spent her summers in Riverton, NC, a small community along the Lumbee River in Scotland County, populated almost exclusively with relatives. Lella was very proud of her family and stayed connected with them throughout her life. She continued to attend the July 4 and Labor Day family reunion picnics in Riverton for as long as she was able to travel.

She attended Gardner-Webb College, and then graduated from NC Baptist Hospital School of Nursing in Winston-Salem in 1948. While in nursing school, she met a young medical student, Jim Darden, and they were married in 1948. They settled in Ahoskie in 1957, where she became active in the community. Lella was a member of the First Baptist Church of Ahoskie, and was a committed member of the choir and handbell choir for years. She served on the board of the Gallery Theater, and performed in a number of productions as well. She worked tirelessly for the Roanoke-Chowan Hospital Auxiliary, Hospice, and Meals on Wheels. She was former co-chairman of the Hertford County Red Cross Bloodmobile. In recognition of her service to hospice, in 2003, she was a recipient of the NC Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service. Lella was also a member of the NC Museum of History Associates.

Lella was warm, gracious, loving and fun. She had a way of making others feel special. As a mother, her gentle guidance was ever present. Always a fabulous cook, Lella’s children and grandchildren have many fond memories of times in the kitchen with her, often waiting to “lick the bowl” or watching the oven for something yummy to come out. She loved to play bridge and continued to play into her eighties.

Emerald Isle was a happy place for her. She loved having her family and grandchildren visit, and regularly took groups of friends for bridge, food, laughter — all of the best things in life! She loved to travel, and enjoyed theater trips to New York.

Lella was predeceased by her husband, James Lee Darden, Jr., in 1999, brothers Joseph H. Jones in 1944, Dan Watson Jones in 1991, and Robert S. Jones, Sr. in 2014.

She is survived by three children, Deborah Darden Ware (Richard), Charlotte Darden Miller (Mill) and James Lee Darden III (Linda), and six grandchildren, Donald Ware (Ann), Laura Ware Adlington (Edward), Ellen Miller, Daniel Miller, Emma Darden and Jay Darden.

The family would like to thank Cathy Speight and her team of caregivers for their devotion and loving care during our Mother’s last years.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 24 at 1:00 pm at the First Baptist Church of Ahoskie with visitation in the Fellowship Hall immediately following the service. Rev. Anita Thompson will be officiating the service.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made directly to Vidant Home Health & Hospice or to First Baptist Church of Ahoskie. Donations may be made online to Vidant Home Health and Hospice by Clicking Here   or First Baptist Church of Ahoskie by clicking here

Garrett-Sykes Funeral Service – Ahoskie Chapel is handling the arrangements for the Darden family and online condolences can be directed to the family by visiting www.garrettsykesfs.com.

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Ann P Hitchings
7 years ago

Dear Debbie, Charlotte and Jimmy,
I have so many great memories being with your dad and mom and you at your grandparents next door to us. And I was particularly touched in the ways your mom paid such loving attention to Mother after I moved away. I know Mother enjoyed spending so many Thanksgivings with you all. Please know I send love and will be thinking of you during this difficult time. With love, Ann M Peterson Hitchings

clayton Burgess
7 years ago

Debbie-How sad this must be for you, just after going to Ahoskie for our class reunion.My condolences to you and your family.

Pat. Davis
7 years ago

Debbie, Charlotte, And Jimmy. My Condolence To You And Family. Every Day I Shared With Your Mom Was A Joyful One. Her Laughter We Shared Together Watching The Golden Girls Will Forever Ring My Ear As I Today Still Watches It. Truly Her Presence Will Be Miss. I Thank Cathy Having Me As One Of Your Mom Caretaker Because I Met A Dear Friend As Well.

David Cartwright
7 years ago

“Gran”‘ Jimmy, and Debbie…
I guess it is one of those things that, one day, happens to all of us… But it still does not make it any easier when our mothers leave us. Your mother’s passing is hard on me, as well. There was NO DOUBT in my mind that she cared about me and she and I have kept in contact over the years… Once (January 2013) I brought Mrs. Cartwright over “to 405” and I cooked and served dinner to them. I remember all the times I had dinner at your house, but the time we had Steak Au Poive and Cherries Jubilee… Well, that had to be the best! I made the same menu for your mother, and SHE REMEMBERED that time Around the table when it was with You, Charlotte, Jimmy, her, your father, and me!!!! Your mother will live on in my heart, along with my mother, as long as I live. i am sure that I am probably NOT the only non-family member for whom this is true. I often think of your mother and I Still think of all of the great times we had together with you and your family many years ago (and all of the fun time together with you, Charlotte… And, of course with you, Jimmy). You two, were and your dear mother will always be in my heart and thoughts.

David Cartwright
Cellular: 617-953-4034

Elaine Sumner Ray
7 years ago

Debbie, Charlotte and Jimmy, I was so saddened to hear the passing of your Mother. I have very fond memories of her and she always made me and everyone welcome in her home. Mom and I visited her this past March and she was having a good day and we talked about all the times spent at her house while we were in highschool. She was a wonderful lady and will be missed by many. Please know that you and the family are in my thoughts and prayers. Mom will miss her as they had so much fun in the birthday club. She also sends her condolences also. Elaine

Roy Burrus
7 years ago

Debbie, Charlotte, and Jimmy;
You all have my deepest sympathy in the passing of your mother (and my cousin), Lella. But I bet when she got to the other side, Joe Dan, Robert and Jim were all waiting for her. After a joyous reunion, they walked into Heaven where they walked and talked with Jesus, face to face! And Lella is fine now; in perfect health in every way. And she is the happiest that she has ever been.
You all will see her and Jim and everyone else again when the time comes; never more
to part. Until then, take care!