Darrell was hired on October 31, 1996, by the Lynchburg Fire Department, where he served for 20 years. He began his firefighting career at the early age of 16 as a volunteer firefighter. Like many of us, it was during the early years as a volunteer where he began to understand the satisfaction that came from being a public servant. His commitment to community and service is what led him to the Lynchburg Fire Department and ultimately the rank of captain. As a 20-year veteran, Darrell had both the life experience and job skills necessary to be a positive role model, friend, and leader to the many people he encountered. This remained evident through his self-performance appraisal that was completed the spring before his untimely passing, where he documented his goal for the next three years was, “to continue to guide and provide the leadership to employees working under me to have a positive impact to their own career development and professional goals.”
Darrell’s biggest love was nature. His passion was deer and turkey hunting, which he started at a young age with his father and grandfather, a tradition he later carried to his son. Darrell was known for his commitment to his family, along with his steady and consistent work ethic throughout his career, no matter where he was assigned or what task he was given. He understood that the assignment didn’t make the employee; what made an employee was the exposure to strong, knowledgeable colleagues and an environment that was structured and positive with collaboration amongst peers.
Darrell is survived by his wife, Kathy Hamlett; children, Craig and Lacy Hamlett; grandchild, Paislee Rena Hamlett; parents, Earnest and Linda Hamlett; sisters, Debra Staton (Barry) and Mandy Hamlett; brother, Rodney Hamlett (Tammy); father and mother-in-law, Jack and Becky Lacy; brother-in-law, David Cyrus (Gwen); and sister-in-law, Vickie Martin (Butch).