Lucy Glenn Jackson Darden, 90, died April 9, 2021, having lived a wonderful life. Lucy was born in Odessa, Texas, on October 30, 1930, the daughter of Jewell and Thomas Glenn Jackson. Her parents, husband Frank, sisters Danny Francis and Maxine, and brother Glenn preceded her in death.
Lucy grew up in Longview, Texas, in a neighborhood filled with family, friends and joy. Exploring the nearby woods and her father’s library of classics, from Shakespeare to Sandburg, opened the world to her. Lucy’s fondest memory of that time was the “reading tree” where she and her pals would go to read, each child sitting on a different branch reading a different book.
Lucy met Frank Darden, a young petroleum engineer in 1951, and the adventure began. After their wedding in September, they were off to Wolf Point, Montana. Their first child, Thomas Franklin (Toby) was born in 1953. A short time later, Frank received an offer from the Colombian National Oil Company. El Centro, Colombia was their next stop. Lucy loved the people, the language, and the culture of Colombia. In 1955, son Glenn was born. The only things Lucy didn’t get accustomed to were the iguanas that roamed the grounds of the jungle camp. With a growing family it was time to head back to Texas, so Fort Worth became their destination and permanent home. Daughter Anne was born in the safe confines of Harris Hospital.
Once moving to Fort Worth, Lucy jumped into civic involvement in her new city, becoming a docent at the Fort Worth Art Center and volunteering for the alter guild at Trinity Episcopal Church. Lucy and Frank joined the Fort Worth Boat Club, learned to sail and race and made many lasting friendships. Sailing became a big part of their lives. More involvement in art followed as Lucy began collecting Latin American art.
After almost 50 years of marriage, Frank died in 2001. Lucy’s pace slowed for a brief time before coming back with a new energy. She continued her engagement on the board of directors of the Modern Art Museum, Van Cliburn and Fort Worth Opera. New interests included joining the boards of the Amon Carter Museum, Planned Parenthood and pursuing her passion for nature, the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT).
Following Frank’s interest in all things nautical, she continued the family’s involvement with the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, joining the board and traveling to international shipwreck sites with family and friends of the institute. She created a new home with a glass-walled sun porch nestled among the trees. She filled the home with love and warmth as her family was growing. She also made it a home for her art, books, and wonderful objects she collected on her travels. Her view from the sun porch was of trees, birds, and the occasional fox. Perhaps she was recreating her “reading tree” from long ago.
Lucy loved family, friends, nature, art, reading of all subjects, travel, good coffee, and her bridge group. But she loved, loved, loved her role as Nan, grandmother, sharing her “views” and teaching her progeny on all topics with an emphasis on art, education, environment, philanthropy, and the value of curiosity leading to an interesting life.
“We thank God and you for these wild and wonderful years!”
The family would like to give special thanks to Dr. Robert Kelly for taking care of his patient utilizing skill, humor and understanding, and to Laura Mendoza Martinez for her friendship, devotion, and simpatico cooking skills that kept Mother going for the last 18 years.
Lucy is survived by her son Toby and his wife Joanie, their children Grace Darden, Kate Darden, Jack Darden, Rachel Williams and her husband Chase and son Charlie, Samantha Hughes and Lauren Hughes. Son Glenn Darden and his wife Kim, their children Frank Darden and his wife Katie and their children Camille and McGee, Christopher Darden and Cara Darden. Daughter Anne Self and her husband Robert, their children Houston Self and his wife Casey, Emily Anne Self and Harriet Self; sister Molly Mitchell and her husband General Bob Mitchell; sister-in-law Ginger Jackson, sister-in-law Pat Knebles, her dear nieces and nephews, and her loyal dog and great companion, Roo.