Ralph Howard Darling was born January 14th, 1942, in Auburn to Ralph and Violet (Krueger) Darling.

He was raised in Auburn and graduated from Auburn High School in 1960. Ralph attended Peru State College. He served in the Nebraska National Guard for six years becoming Squad Leader and attaining the level of Marksman (Rifle).

Ralph was married to Joan Eickhoff on January 20th, 1962 in York. After returning to Auburn that same year, the couple purchased a trucking company located in Beatrice, Nebraska. They moved the headquarters to Auburn and changed the name to Bulk Carriers. Ralph was in the trucking business for 30 years. During that time, he was a member of the Knights of Columbus, Auburn Jaycees, and other community organizations. Ralph was also active in the community sponsoring tee ball and softball teams, the Auburn swim team, and local school sports teams and clubs. In 1987, Ralph sold Bulk Carriers. After taking some time off, he and Joan purchased Tiny’s Café changing the name to Darling’s Café. The couple divorced in 1991. Ralph continued to own and operate Darling’s Café until 2017 when he closed the business due to health reasons. He spent the last two years living in Denver with his daughter Kristina, and other family members.

Throughout his life, Ralph was an avid hunter and fisherman. He loved fishing the Missouri River. In 1980, he won a fishing tournament with his buddies known as the River Rats. Ralph enjoyed helping people while he served the community through his businesses.

Ralph peacefully passed away March 29th at his home in Denver surrounded by family and friends.

Surviving are his two daughters, Teresa and Kristina Darling both of Denver, Colorado; son R.J. and wife Amanda Darling of St Louis, Missouri; sister Shari and husband Howard Holmquist of Burwell; brother-in-law Jerry Smith of Auburn; grandchildren Tiffany and Kayla Darling and Ryan Hohlt; two great grandchildren, Catalina and Jayce Darling; and many other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister Betty Smith.

Come celebrate Ralph’s life with his family on July 17th at the Auburn Country Club from 1 - 3 pm. Light snacks provided.

Nemaha County Herald

PO Box 250
Auburn, NE 68305
PH: (402) 274-3185
FAX: (402) 274-3273