Colonel Darrel A. McFerron

  • Born: January 11, 1941
  • Died: August 1, 2021
  • Location: New Concord, Kentucky

J. H. Churchill Funeral Home

201 S. 3rd Street
Murray, KY 42071
Tel. (270) 753-2411

Tribute & Message From The Family

Colonel Darrel A. McFerron, beloved husband, son, father, grandfather and child of God, passed away on Sunday, August 1, 2021, at his home.

Colonel McFerron was 80 years of age and lived in New Concord, KY. Colonel McFerron was preceded in death by his wife of 54 years, Karin L. McFerron; his parents, Clarence B. and Esther E. McFerron; and one twin sister, Carol A. Duffy. He is survived by a son, John R. McFerron and wife Trudi; a daughter, Molly Parker and husband Keith; and five grandchildren, Emily, Jacob and Nicholas McFerron and Samuel and Grace Parker.

Colonel McFerron was raised in Southwest Missouri and attended Missouri State University where he played football and served as the co-captain of the 1961 team. Concurrent with his graduation in 1962, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Regular Army. His military career spanned 30 years of active duty. This included a wide assortment of duties and responsibilities at various levels ranging from Platoon Airborne Leader to Brigade Level Command. Most proudly he served as a Battalion Commander in America's elite 82nd Airborne Division. His foreign tours included a tour in Korea, Vietnam, and three tours in West Germany. He also served twice at Murray State University initially as Assistant Professor of Military Science from 1976 – 1979 and then as Professor of Military Science from 1982 to 1984. His military awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal and Army Commendation Medal with V Device plus numerous campaign and service medals. He is also a recipient of the Combat Infantryman Badge, Master Parachutist Badge and Air Assault Badge. Colonel McFerron was a graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College and the Army War College. During his final tour in Germany, he served as a Deputy Community Commander for a major command and was responsible for quality of life programs for soldiers and their families and fostering relationships with citizens of our hosting nation. Upon his retirement in 1992, he was recognized by the German Parliament for his leadership in promoting German/American relations with the presentation of the prestigious Das Grosse Verdienstkreuz (service to the people). It was presented to Colonel McFerron by the German Ambassador to the United States in Washington DC in October 1992. He was also a member of the American Legion Post 73.

Like most veterans, he served his community after retiring. He was a long time member of the Murray Lions Club, serving as the president (2001-2002) and has been recognized as a Melvin Jones Fellow. He served on various civic organizations as an active board member having chaired various committees. He served ten years on the Murray Calloway Transit Board, eight years on the Murray Main Street Board, six years on the United Way Board, three years on the Purchase area District Council on Aging and two years on the Way of Wellness Board. Colonel McFerron was honored by the Murray Rotary Club with their Humanitarian Service Award for "Service Above Self" for 2013-14. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Murray having served as a Trustee and a member of the Stewardship and Finance Committee Chairman. For the church's major renovation during 2002-04, he served as the Chairman of the Building Oversight Committee.

Colonel McFerron and his wife traveled extensively visiting many faraway places with other retired military friends. They often traveled to visit friends in Germany and New Zealand. Colonel McFerron's passion was growing flowers, especially Zinnias, which he enjoyed sharing with fellow church members and neighbors. He also enjoyed piddling on his small cattle farm and in 2016 was recognized as a Master Conservationist for Calloway County.

A visitation will be held from 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m., on Monday, August 9, 2021, at the J.H. Churchill Funeral Home & Cremation Services with Bro. Keith Inman and Bro. Boyd Smith officiating. A funeral service will be held following the visitation at 2:00 p.m., on Monday, August 9, 2021, at the J.H. Churchill Funeral Home & Cremation Services. The burial will be held at 11:30 a.m., on Tuesday, August 10, 2021, at the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis, MO. Murray Lions Club Members and Bill Adams Sunday School Class Members will serve as honorary pallbearers.

Expressions of sympathy can be made to the Murray-Calloway County Need Line, 509 North Eighth Street, Murray, KY 42071 or to the Anna Mae Owen Residential Hospice House, 803 Poplar Street, Murray, KY 42071.

Online condolences can be made at,


Condolence & Memory Journal

John, Molly and family: My sincere condolences in the loss of your Father, Grandfather and a friend. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I had the distinct pleasure of serving with this Honorable, Dedicated and Distinguished Soldier at Murray State University in 1978-79 and as the Commander/Professor of Military science 1982-1984. Col & Karen were very proud parents and took pride in their service to country, community and their family. Col. McFerron will be missed by many people in this community and in the communities where he served.
Again my thoughts and prayers are with you now and always.

Posted by Elvis R Green - Huntland, TN - Served in the Military together   August 08, 2021

Darrel and I were from the same home town of 186 people and grew up in the same small church. His mother and father were my Sunday school teachers and my mom was his, although Darrel was 16 years older than I. Whenever Karin, Darrel, John, and Molly were home on leave we would see them often.
When I decided to join the military, Darrel was probably a Major or Lt Colonel and his career was flourishing. My mother was extremely worried about my decision and was fraught with concern over the the perils of military life, which she expressed to Darrel. He addressed her fears and answered her many questions honestly and compassionately. After that, she was much more comfortable with my decision, all because "Darrel said it would be OK". I served 30 years and have been grateful to him ever since; I shared that story with him just recently.
As luck would have it, my family and I were stationed in Germany years later during Darrel's last assignment there and we visited occasionally. Overseas for the first time and a brand new dad, it was always so comforting to know they were only 90 minutes away and I spoke with him often for advice and guidance. Over the years we remained in touch and our periodic phone chats were always the highlight of my day.
Darrel clearly was a highly successful officer and I know he was a tremendous leader. But his greatest accomplishments were his character, service above self, and his devotion to his family and his faith. We spoke many times about the truly important things in life and he treasured family above all.
John and Molly: I cherish my friendship with your dad and will miss him. You and your families are in my prayers.

Posted by Fred Witter Colonel, USAF (retired) - Branson Missouri, MO - Friend   August 06, 2021

Our sincere condolences to the family. Darrel was a good man, an honorable soldier, and a friend to many around the world. We were blessed to have known him and Karin. We have always had the utmost respect and admiration for Darrel and his character, ever since meeting him in Darmstadt in 1989. His kindness, and and his selfless devotion to others, have had a profound and lasting affect on the entire Cercy Family.

Posted by Mike & Nancy Cercy - North Augusta, SC - Acquaintance   August 05, 2021

We loved you so much Darrel and Karen and will miss you greatly. John and Molly you must know that. You are in our prayers.

Posted by Bobby and Susie Malone - Knoxville   August 05, 2021

It was my honor to serve as a Department of the Army Civilian with this fine Army Officer at Darmstadt, Germany. My prayers are for him and with his family. God Bless him always.

Posted by Esther Lee - Chester, VA - Served in the Military together   August 05, 2021

My condolences for your loss. I met the Col at the MCCH center for health and wellness. I was wearing a USMC shirt (Son served) while working out couple of years ago and he asked me if I had served? We had many conversations about my son and where he was stationed. Going to miss talking to him.
Great American!
God Bless

Posted by Gary Collins - Murray, KY - Friend   August 05, 2021

John, Trudi, Emily, Jake and Nick. Very sorry to hear of your Dad, Father in Law, and beloved Grandpa. Keeping you all in our prayers. Our love to you- Dan and Bobbi

Posted by Dan Gassel    August 04, 2021

John and Molly, we are saddened to hear of your father's death. Regrettably, we will be unable to attend his funeral because we're in MA visiting Charles and family. Know that you are in our thoughts. Calloway County has lost a fine citizen and good friend to many.

Posted by Doris and Ron Cella - Murray KY 42071   August 04, 2021

John, Molly and all of the Family: My thoughts and prayers are with you. COL McFerron was a good man. I was blessed to have known him and Karen, and to have worked with him at Murray State. God be with you.

Posted by Faye Wells - Edisto Island, SC, SC - Coworker   August 04, 2021

You've fought the fight, finished the race, & kept the faith. Rest in peace dear friend, our friendship has spanned many years. So thankful your family is in my life. God speed.

Posted by Lou Huie - Puryear, TN - Family Friend   August 04, 2021

Darrell McFerron will live in my memory as one of the most honorable and distinguished military officers I had the good fortune of working with during a military career. To John, Molly and your families, you were so fortunate to be such central and precious part of your mom and dad's life for so long. May their love and sweet memories sustain you now and for all your days.

Posted by Dan and Jo Farris / McKinley - Louisville, KY - Served in the Military together   August 03, 2021

I was honored to serve in the 3/4 Air Defense Artillery Battalion of the 82nd Airborne Division while Col McFerron was the commander He selected me to command the Headquarters Battery, my first command assignment. Our first meeting was memorable. Arriving at the command building for the first time, the duty clerk mistook me for a higher ranking officer and called the entire building to attention. Col McFerron came bounding out of his office expecting to see a full Colonel or a General Officer and instead, finding me, a lowly first lieutenant. I was embarrassed. He just laughed. My sincere condolences to Col McFerron's family. Colonel (Retired) Ron Smith

Posted by Ronald Smith - YPSILANTI, MI - Served in the Military together   August 03, 2021

I cannot express how sad we are. Darrel was a close friend to our family, keeping contacts so many years in friendship.
I remember the wonderful hours being together in fostering German-American friendship with great achievements for his military stuff as well as the inhabitants of Black Forest.
And of course we remember Darrel and Karin having hosting our children Manuel and Laura on the farm in Kentucky. This was an unforgettable experience for our kids. Darrel and Karin cared about them like father and mother.
We will miss Darrel. Dear friend Rest In Peace.
Our thoughts are with Molly, John and the grandchildren.
Lots of love
Bruno, Hildegard, Laura and Roman , friends in Germany

Posted by Bruno Kaiser - Berlin, Germany - Friend   August 03, 2021

Our Prayers that God gives strength and comfort to the family. I'll never forget many years ago Darrel brought some musicians from Germany to our farm to visit. The small band was to play in the Hazel Day celebration, and we were invited. Everybody was there except Darrel. He was sick in the hospital.

Posted by Jim and Judy Stahler Stahler - Murray, KY - Friend   August 02, 2021

Family Album