Darren Urquhart: Family to celebrate life of Hitchin ‘gentle giant’

PUBLISHED: 12:03 15 February 2018

Darren Urquhart from Hitchin, who died last year at the age of 42.

Darren Urquhart from Hitchin, who died last year at the age of 42.

Archant

Heartfelt tributes have been paid to an ever-smiling “gentle giant” ahead of a celebration of his life in Hitchin this weekend.

Computer engineer Darren Urquhart died on the evening of November 13 when he was hit by a train at Hitchin railway station. He was 42 years old.

His family are to hold a celebration of his life at St Michael’s Mount Community Centre on Saturday, with all who knew Darren welcome.

Darren’s mother Deloris Harmon said: “He was very outgoing and thought about other people before himself. He was a good son and a brilliant father to his three children. My abiding memory of how he was always smiling, from when he was a baby.

“He was a gentle giant. He was a brilliant son, he really was, and I miss him terribly.”

A keen footballer, Darren had many friends and was also a lover of reggae and soul music – which will be played at the celebration of his life this Saturday.

He grew up in Hitchin’s Bunyan Road with his aunt Joy McNeil, and attended Wilshere-Dacre Junior Academy and then The John Henry Newman School in Stevenage.

Joy said: “I just remember his big smile, and if you were ever looking a bit sad he’d find some words to cheer you up, something to lift you up. He’d always see the good in everybody, and if you wanted to do something good he’d always encourage you. He was lovely. We greatly miss him.”

Darren had become severely depressed towards the end of his life – something that Joy said stemmed from the murder of his 19-year-old brother Micah in 2013.

Darren had looked after Micah since he was 10, and was devastated after he was stabbed to death in a Luton flat.

Joy said: “When Micah was stabbed, he wasn’t with Darren at the time. Darren felt that he had let him down.”

Since Darren’s death, an online crowdfunding drive to support his family has raised almost £6,000.

The fundraising statement on the page reads: “Just writing out his name hurts – but it also brings back images of a kind, caring, big, smiley, awesome guy.

“Darren was a positive force in this world. The world needs more of him, not less.”

The celebration of Darren’s life will be held from 5.30pm to 9pm this Saturday.

Support charity Samaritans can be contacted free of charge on 116 123, 24 hours a day, 365 a year. You can also email jo@samaritans.org.

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