Passed away on Saturday, May 13, 2023 after a short battle with cancer.
He was preceded in death by his parents Almond and Mable (Schroeder) Straw; brothers Virgil, Bobby, Darrell, and Larry; sisters Caroline, and Betty; an infant sibling at birth; and son-in-law Tom Bednarczyk. Darwin is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Shirley; children Terri Bednarczyk, Marty (Debbie) Straw, and Jody (Brett) Jarmuzek; grandchildren Hillary (Shane) Straw Geraghty, Mitchell Straw (Anna Nordquist), Brooke (Paige) Jarmuzek, and Jaden Jarmuzek; and great grandchildren Mackenzie, and Sully Geraghty.
Darwin was born in Pipestone, MN and the family moved to the Becker, MN area working on several farms. After he graduated from Becker High School, he married the love of his life, Shirley Mott, and joined the U.S. Army. He was stationed at Fort McClellan, Alabama from 1958-1960.
When he returned from the Army, he helped on the family potato farm, worked at Red Owl in Hopkins, attended Dunwoody, St. Paul Tech, and Anoka Ramsey taking various classes. Darwin joined Local 548 Millwrights in 1970 and was a member for 53 years. He worked for 36 years as a union millwright installing equipment across the states and Twin Cities.
During his working years, Darwin and Shirley bought and restored many houses in the Monticello, and Big Lake area. They had rental properties and built a few homes for resale. This caused the family to move many times, in excess of 30 times! Projects included elaborate birdhouses, and he enjoyed making a variety of custom made trailers and doing welding repairs. Darwin was also a local handyman, installed decks, replaced doors and windows, did small concrete jobs, and shingled a few houses. He helped Joyce Dowling remodel her Whatknot Gift Shop, took apart antique furniture and repaired and glued for refinish. He never let the dust settle on his boots.
In addition to work, Darwin loved the great outdoors, fishing, hunting, and snowmobiling. After retirement, he bought the first of RVs and traveled from Alaska to Florida and Niagara Falls to Yuma, Arizona. Recently he spent his fair share of time at the Monticello American Legion. Wherever the action was- Darwin was there. He loved spending time with the kids, and grandkids and will always be remembered for his pickled eggs, bean soup, and chili.
A gathering of family and friends will be held on Thursday, May 25, 2023 from 4-7PM with a Celebration of Life service at 7PM, at the Peterson-Grimsmo Funeral Chapel, 250 E. Broadway Street, Monticello, MN. 763-295-2918. (www.peterson-grimsmochapel.com)
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