Wednesday, May 22, 2024
May 22, 2024

DARLING, Samuel Taylor

On Monday, May 22, 2023, Samuel Taylor Darling, an advocate for those in need and father of five, passed away at 76 after a brief and valiant fight against lung cancer. 

Sam was born on August 8th, 1946 in Colon, Panama, to Mary and Dashwood Darling. His formative years were spent in Central America and Marin County, CA. He attended the Grace Cathedral School for Boys where he sang in the choir, snuck cigarettes in the rafters, and developed a lifelong appreciation for music. He then graduated from Lick Wilmerding High School, shipped out as a Merchant Marine to support himself and see a wider world, and attended UC Berkeley, before becoming a caretaker for the Steep Ravine cabins.

Sam moved to Guatemala in 1973 with his future wife, Sharee (Darling) Anderson, where they started an herb tea farm in partnership with Celestial Seasonings. They used profits from this long-standing business venture to teach and fund small-scale agricultural projects that could be easily replicated – hand-building terraces on the steep slopes, constructing simple water systems, and de-worming sheep – to help reduce disease and improve nutrition of the Mam indigenous people of the Cuchamatan Mountains where they lived. He described this time as the most meaningful and best years of his life. A trailblazer, with a strong sense of joie de vivre, Sam’s adventures took him next to the north shore of Kauai in 1981 where he farmed ginger, battled hurricanes, and founded Garden Island Foods, a pioneering gourmet foods company with Julia Child’s stamp of approval. 

A skilled sailor and lover of the sea, Sam returned to west Marin County, with his second wife, Jane Arny, settling in Inverness. He sailed Tomales Bay with his kids, immersed himself in writing and recording original music, crafted short stories, built a successful food company while managing his tea farm in Guatemala, and raised his family within a vibrant community of artists, musicians, nature lovers, critical thinkers, and passionate democrats.

Sam, Jane and Dash immigrated to BC in 2004. He felt most alive when giving back, amongst kind and generous spirits, and surrounded by beauty. To that end he spent his final years on Salt Spring Island, devoted to developing NOMO, his small non-profit foundation with a big ambition: to reduce the suffering caused by malaria and other insect-borne diseases. On SSI, Sam was surrounded by those he held dear, in the home and place he loved. 

Sam was preceded in death by his parents, Dashwood and Mary Darling. He is survived by his five children – Heidi, Noelle, Taylor, Holly, and Dash; seven grandchildren- Isabelle, Layton, Liv, Ellis, Ada, Keola, and Charlotte – his sister Mary Peyton Lloyd, husband Tom and their children Meredith and Peyton, and his dear friend, Jane. In lieu of flowers please consider donating to NOMO or the Union for Concerned Scientists.

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