Husband, father, grandfather, friend, Coach. At 6’6”, a gentle giant of a man with an even bigger heart, Darryl, 63, slid headfirst and arms outreached into the presence of his loving God late in the evening on Nov. 23. “Coach Darryl” was born February 23, 1947 in Lynwood, California. He was the younger of two sons born to Odie L. and Evelyn R. (Dale) Hockenberry. (All three preceded him in death.) Darryl grew up in Hawthorne, California, eventually moving to the Turlock/Denair area, and, in 1991 to Silverton, Oregon. A resident of Scotts Mills, Oregon since 1998, Darryl has left his mark on many lives, with people of all ages.
Darryl was in Hawthorne High’s class of ’64 - the era of “cruising the gut in kool cars” with great friends, listening to the music of such Southern Cal locals as his classmates (The Beach Boys) on the radio, going to concerts and the beach. He enjoyed playing football, fishing with his dad, and at age 17, started coaching in the minor baseball division of Aviation Little League. His love of coaching continued at each relocation, with his coaching in Little League Baseball and Softball, Pop Warner Football, and high school softball running 46 years. His last coaching stints were primarily with girls’ softball, ages 14-18. The number of youth and families touched by his positive mentoring is immeasurable. Kids loved being on his team and parents often looked forward to the day their younger children might be able to play for Coach Darryl. His coaching techniques focused on teaching the skills of the game, life skills, and having fun – for himself and each individual child! He enjoyed many years of attending Salem-Keizer Volcanoes’ games, as well as a few years of being “host dad” to some of the players. He was highly admired and respected by many, and is greatly missed by those whose lives he touched.
The majority of his career was with Stiles Custom Metals in Ceres, California, prior to his relocating to Silverton Oregon in 1991. Shortly thereafter he joined the staff of Silverton High School, and eventually Kennedy High School, as softball coach. In July, 1991, he married his sweetheart, Raleen (Hungate). He also gained a foster son, Shayne Joeckel.
Among other honors, Darryl was recognized as a Little League Volunteer of the Year by Oregon District 7 in 1998, a Russ Allemang Plaque Recipient in 2010 (Oregon Little League), and was listed in the 2000 “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers” as the result of one of his ballplayers submitting his name for inclusion. Darryl was active in Silverton First Christian Church, co-teaching a youth Sunday school class for a few years. He loved his home on the “creek” in Scotts Mills. Darryl served on City Council (2000-2002). He was very active in the local Neighborhood Watch and Citizen Patrol, and enjoyed “patrolling” with neighbors who knew just about every nook and cranny of the community and outlying area. He was friend to anyone who met him.
His daughter, Dawn, gifted him with two precious granddaughters (Kayley Edwards in 1997, and Brooklynn Child in 2005). Son-in-law Brad Isbell joined the family in September 2010. He is also survived by Brian Hockenberry (nephew) and his son; Laura McGoldrick (niece) and her family; his “aunt” Lucille; cousins Kathy, Julie, Jeannie and their families; Prudence Hungate (sister-in-law), Clovis Hungate (brother-in-law), and countless number of friends of all ages – many of whom were his “ladies” and “gentlemen” throughout his coaching years. His spirit lives on in and as part of so many he touched.
A Celebration of Darryl's Life is being held at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 11 at Silverton First Christian Church. 402 N. First Street, /Silverton. Unger's Mortuary is handling arrangements (229 Mill St/Silverton 503-873-5141). There will be no viewing. For those who have known him, the family asks he be remembered as he was the last time you saw his smiling eyes and the look that made you feel like you were the most important person in the world.
Should there be an interest in making a donation in his memory, a few options close to his big ol' heart are Silverton First Christian Church (Community Dinner & Audio/Video Development); Mt. Angel’s JFK HS Softball Program; Scotts Mills Volunteer Firefighters Assn. (note: Scotts Mills Neighborhood Watch); and Oregon District 9 Little League, PO Box 328, Scotts Mills, OR 97375-0328.