Darrel Kent Waters

Published 8:14 pm Wednesday, October 26, 2022

The memorial service for Darrel Kent Waters will be held at First Unitarian Universalist Church in Rochester, with the Rev. Luke Stevens-Royer officiating, on Saturday, November19, 2022, at 1:00 PM. Visitation will be held an hour before the service, at the Church. Interment will be in Oakwood Cemetery in Austin, Minnesota, at a later date.

Darrel, 92, of Rochester, died Thursday (October 20, 2022) at the Chosen Valley Care Center in Chatfield, Minnesota. He was born March 19, 1930, in Austin, Minnesota, to Mark and Nora (Holte) Waters.

He graduated from Austin High School and attended the University of Minnesota before enlisting in the Air Force in 1951, serving in Korea and Waverly, Iowa. He joined IBM at Rochester in 1957 as a facilities engineer. After retirement from IBM, he devoted more time to dealing in antiques.

Survivors include nephews and nieces, Larry, Judy, Susan, Dedee, Richard, Nancy, Mark, Bruce, Keith, Diane and Jim, numerous beloved great-nephews and nieces, and special friend, Tim Gerarden. He is preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, Ralph Waters and Loren Waters, and a sister, Mae Etta Jarvis.

In 1958 he organized the first HiY Club at the YMCA. In 1960 he volunteered with Olmsted County Community Corrections, serving on the Justice Social Systems Volunteer Program (JSSVP) board, as a volunteer Probation Officer, and president of the Probation Offenders Rehabilitation and Training (PORT) board. He also served on the Olmsted County Diversity Council as secretary of the board for 8 years. Darrel became active in Gay and Lesbian Community Services of Southeast Minnesota and was a founding member of the Gay and Lesbian Youth Services organization. Early in the 1980s Darrel joined the Professional AIDS Network. With them, he became an educator and would go to nursing homes, schools, and meet with families. He also coordinated volunteers working with people living with AIDS. He served on the board of Philanthrofund, a GLBT grant-giving organization covering seven states in the Upper Midwest. He received the Mayor’s Medal of Honor and the Power of One Award from Philanthrofund Foundation. He served First Unitarian Church in Rochester, as a board member and on the Properties Committee. He was a regular helper with the Clara Barton Guild Rummage Sale. Darrel received the MUU Social Justice Alliance Spiritual Sustenance and Resilience award. He was a weaver and was involved in the Zumbro River Fiber Arts Guild. Darrel was especially proud of his Irish and Norwegian heritage and traced his ancestry back numerous generations. He helped organize numerous family gatherings. He became a fine baker of Norwegian delicacies. In his last years he loved playing Mahjong with friends.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Philanthrofund, the First Unitarian Church of Rochester, or Minnesota Public Radio.