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A Tribute to a Hero

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Some of you may know I retired from the CT State Police some 28 years ago. We get frequent updates of this, that, and other things from time to time via email and our Alumni News Letter. Thanks to the Internet you can still feel a part of your past and keep track of who’s doing what and the various things going on. Our CT State Police Alumni Association does a wonderful job.

I did not know Darrell D Stark but obviously there was a true American hero living in close proximity to my first posting, Troop “C” Stafford Springs. Troop “C” has moved from Stafford Springs to Tolland, CT a more central location in the geographical responsibility area. The troop even has their own Face Book page.


Troop C, Stafford Springs, CT (Now a Sr. Ctr.)



Troop C, Tolland, CT

On the first Monday of each month all OF’s, ( Old Farts) get together at a local eating establishment, tell war stories and catch up on what each is doing as well as who’s not doing well. This American Hero was a guest and speaker at one of Troop “Cs” breakfast sessions.

I received this today and just wanted to pass it along. It’s short, a wonderful read and a person, “The Donald,” would dispute being a hero.

I’ve included a few links that look back on the history of where Darrell’s mis-adventures took him for those who may be interested. I’m sure many of us, me included, have no clue as to some of this history. We all owe it to ourselves, to know from whence we came. I remember an old quote from John F. Kennedy; “We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea – whether it is to sail or to watch it – we are going back from whence we came.” Thank you to Darrell and all the men and women of World War II, Where might we be now?

Semper Fi.”

Stark, Darrell D

Stark, Darrell D.

Darrell D Stark, 92, of Stafford Springs, CT, husband to the love of his life for 69 years, the late Julia (Ridzon) Stark, passed away on Wednesday, February 17, 2016 at Evergreen Health Care Center surrounded by his loving family.

He was born in Ardmore, OK, son of the late Frank H. and Gladys (Pollard) Stark. He left his loving family in Oklahoma at 16 to work in the Civilian Conservation camp in Montrose, CO. He enlisted at 18 in the United States Army and was a very proud member of the 31st infantry. He surrendered in Bataan, Philippines on April 9, 1942, and saw the horrors of the death march. He spent time in the Cabanatuan and Davao Penal Colony and Bilibid prison, and then spent 62 days on the Hellship Canadian Inventor and arrived in Moji, Japan in September or October of 1944. He worked in a factory in Yokkaichi, Japan for three or four months until the factory was destroyed by an earthquake. He then went to Toyama and was liberated there in August 1945.

After returning to the United States, he was hit by a car and that is when he met the love of his life working at the military hospital. Darrell was a Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient. He retired as a corrections officer from the State of Connecticut. Darrell was a member of the Strazza, Tonoli-Emhoff Post No. 26 American Legion, V.F.W. Post No. 9990 of Stafford, and the Italian Benefit Society. He spent a lifetime trying to help those who suffered from PTSD, talking to veterans at the VA or veterans at the prison, they all had the same thing in common and all handled it differently. He loved to be on the go and if one of his children was not able to take him to lunch or out and about he would say “that’s ok, I’ll call Dave or Fred”. Thank you Dave Walsh and Fred Bird, he loved you both like family. He also had adventures with Hope Frassinelli every Friday since his beloved Mimi passed away. We cannot forget the reporter that came to interview with him and found a new family and new projects that he would give her to do, Amber Wakley, thank you.

He is survived by his three children, Darrell W. “Butch” Stark and his wife Dolores, Darlene Dion and her husband Edward, and Judy Gilbert and her husband Ronald; nine grandchildren, Jennifer, Amy, Cynthia, Eddie, Chris, Michael, Peter, Nancy, and Stephanie; 15 great grandchildren; two brothers, Donald “Bud” Stark and his wife Reta, and Gerald “Ed” Stark and his wife Ruby; two brothers-in-law, Edward Ridzon and Daniel Ridzon and his wife Pat; very special friends, Dick and Shirley Hills; and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by three sisters and two brothers.

His funeral service will be held on Monday, February 22, 2016 at 10 A.M. at Introvigne Funeral Home, Inc., 51 East Main St., Stafford Springs, CT. Burial with Military Honors will follow in South Cemetery, Tolland, CT. Calling hours are on Sunday from 1-4 P.M. at the funeral home. Memorial donations may be made to the Stafford Youth Center, 3 Buckley Highway, Stafford Springs, CT 06076, American Legion Post No. 26, 10 Monson Rd., Stafford Springs, CT 06076, or please show an act of kindness towards a veteran.

For online condolences or directions, please visit:

Editor, Darrell was an honored guest at the Troop C monthly breakfast.  The above photo was taken at the May 2015 breakfast when he spoke of his war time experiences.  He was a true hero of the greatest generation.  May he rest in peace.  kb

Rooster LogoSemper-fidelis

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