Settle remembered by pastor, known for caring about people
May 2, 2006
HENLEY – Darin Settle accepted Christ as his Savior at age seven and was baptized by his pastor, Cellis Crum. Still his pastor, Crum was one of two ministers who spoke at his funeral service April 22. Lance Corporal Darin T. Settle, 23, died in Iraq April 14 in service to his country.
Darin’s parents, Jim and Arlene Settle, were given the news of their son’s death by three Marines. As part of the Combat Logistics Regiment, Darin had died in a motor vehicle accident while providing security for a convoy. In addition to his parents and grandmother, he is also survived by a sister, Gwen Settle; a son, Wesley Arvin Gage; his fiancée, Angela Moad, and other family members including grandmother Anna Watts.
Crum, who has served as pastor of Spring Valley Baptist Church at Henley, southeast of Jefferson City, for 32 years, spoke fondly of Settle’s involvement in the church at Henley.
“He was a very loving kid. Everybody loved Darin and he loved us,” he says. If Settle got in late on Sunday morning, he’d give Crum a little wave and smile and go sit with his grandparents.
As a teenager, Settle was concerned about the salvation of his friends and would invite them to church. Spring Valley Baptist Church averages about 65 in attendance on Sunday mornings and gives about 19 percent to the Cooperative Program. In this mission-minded church, Settle led a Bible study.
“He would bring his friends to church,” said Watts, “and, one by one, they were saved. When he went into basic training, we sent him his Bible. He would have Bible studies and some of those boys were saved, too.” The Bible studies continued as he served in Iraq.
Settle was born Aug. 25, 1982, in Jefferson City. A graduate of Cole County R-V High School in Eugene, he enlisted in the Marine Corps in December of 2003 because, said grandmother Watts, “he wanted to be where the action was and he wanted to make a difference and protect his country.”
He was a polite kid and he was a person who loved other people, she said.
“When he came home he wanted everybody in one place so he could visit and have fun. His life wasn’t about things. People were more important than anything to him. He was willing to help anybody with anything.”
Darin’s father received Christ as his Savior in November. He was one of 14 people baptized in the church last year, and he waited until Christmas so Darin could be there while home on leave.
As word of Darin’s death spread, people surrounded the family with loving support. As a law enforcement escort drove Darin’s body to the funeral home April 19, onlookers with flags and banners lined the highway from Jefferson City to Russellville.
Hundreds attended two visitations at the funeral home and one at the church.
More than 800 people attended the funeral service at Eugene High School April 22. Again, the road was lined with people and vehicles.
When protesters from Westboro Baptist Church, Topeka, Kan., announced they would make an appearance at the funeral, area residents, members of veterans’ organizations and about 200 members of the Patriot Guard arrived to protect the family from the intrusion. More than 100 motorcycles were parked in front of the school.
It was reported to Settle’s grandmother that when the protesters held up their signs, supporters held up large American flags in front of them. When the protesters began to shout, the bikers revved up their motorcycles. “We never saw them,” said Watts. “We heard they didn’t stay around too long.”
Watts requests prayer for the family for healing.
“We have a big hole in our hearts and we miss him very much,” she said, adding “but we know we’ll see him again.”