David Winston Darwell, 81, passed away at his home, on January 14th, after a long illness, with his beloved wife, Cheryl, at his side. David was born in Massachusetts. He served in the Army in Korea, repairing Hawk missiles. He then became a textile engineer and earned a second degree as an electrical engineer. He designed computer systems that controlled oil refineries, food processing plants, chemical and military installations, diamond and gold mines, all over the world.

He met his wife Cheryl when they both were teaching engineering systems classes. They moved to Virginia, where they became corporate dropouts, and purchased several companies over the years including ComputerTots and Lottsburg Printing Company. They finally settled in West End, North Carolina, 11 years ago and opened a travel agency, Cruise Planners/American Express Travel.

Before he developed vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s, David enjoyed golfing, cruising, boating and music. He played guitar, keyboard, and was a big fan of John Denver.

He endured three open heart surgeries, and then volunteered as a Zipper Club volunteer counseling heart patients, at First Health Moore Regional, Reid Heart Center.

David was a patient of First Health Hospice, for almost five years. Their nurses, aides and staff provided extraordinary care to him. We are grateful for their wonderful assistance, and incredible support from friends, neighbors and clients. In particular, his two private nurses were like family, and a Godsend to him, giving him tender love and care until the end.

David leaves his loving wife Cheryl Darwell, who was his partner for 40 years, and served as his caregiver for the duration of his illness. He also leaves three daughters, Kristen Grime in Massachusetts, Susan Salva in Virginia and Julie Monteiro in New Hampshire, along with six grandchildren.

Condolences may be offered at

Donations are appreciated, in David’s memory, to First Health Hospice, 150 Applecross Rd., Pinehurst, NC 28374.

Boles Funeral Home of Seven Lakes is entrusted to his arrangements, and a memorial service/celebration of life is planned in the spring.

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