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Lucy with her four oldest grandchildren in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan,1993

“I have never known a more generous-giving community than Fort Worth. Fort Worth is generous and remarkable!”

Meet Inspiration, Meet Lucy Darden!

Setting: the piney woods of Longview, Texas in the late ’30s.

“We had a tree across the driveway in our backyard which was a wonderful oak tree for climbing. Our whole neighborhood would gather, and everyone had his own limb. They would grab a book and perch on a branch to read.” This fond memory is one of many for Lucy Daren as she describes her childhood affection for books. Her father’s passion for books and generosity shaped her life.

“My Father was a reader from the word go. He was born in 1875 so he was a real Victorian. He was the most well-read person you could ever imagine. He loved and recited Shakespeare. He had a Library to end all. He had everything from Shakespeare to Kipling, Poe, and O’Henry. You name it, he had it. I looked forward to summers so I could spend my days in his library. In junior high and high school, Lucy volunteered to work the libraries in both Longview and then Odessa as a teenager.

After marrying her husband Frank, the two of them enjoyed a life of adventure living in Montana and Colombia before settling in Fort Worth in January 1956. She says of her marriage that “we were adaptable and always up for something new …it’s called curiosity and it is the greatest gift we ever had. We were just curious”. Lucy’s gracious curiosity took her to the Fort Worth Arts Center for her first volunteer work in Fort Worth. That led her to serve on boards for the Opera, BRIT, The Modern, The Amon Carter, The Cliburn, and the Fort Worth Public Library Advisory Board.

Her fondness for the Foundation grew deeper when her granddaughter, who was suffering from a health issue in college, received encouragement from Paula Tyler our LaunchPad Director. In May her granddaughter is receiving her MFA in Provence, France.

Today at 90 years young she just finished re-reading Hamlet. Her top three books are “The Sun Also Rises” by Hemingway, “Alexandria Quartet” by Lawrence Durrell, and most recently “The Hare with The Amber Eyes” by Edmund de Waal.

Of her philanthropy, she says it was “inbred in me”. “ My father was a generous man, and my mother was too in her own way. I have had a very exciting and gratifying life. I have never known a more generous-giving community than Fort Worth. Fort Worth is generous and remarkable!”

Thank you, Lucy Darden, for your generous spirit!

Thank you for believing in your community!