Early on Tuesday morning July 23, 2019, Darrol Dean Rummel of Trout Lake passed from this life to life beyond the grave. Darrol, at age 70, was playing early morning basketball at the Trout Lake school gym with a group of friends when his heart failed him. His game on the court – and his life on this earth – came to an end at 7:45 a.m.
Darrol’s life like the ball game he loved so much had a starting point and an ending point. His clock began ticking at 12:55 on a Thursday afternoon, Aug. 26, 1948, in the Hood River hospital. Darrol’s parents were Dean and Bertha Rummel, familiar figures in Trout Lake.
The first quarter of his life was played out as a boy growing up in Trout Lake where he was schooled and skilled in the town’s old school house. As a blossoming teenager he became a lead player for the Trout Lake High School’s “Mustang” ball team. Basketball became a lifelong passion for him.
Growing up in the neighborhood of Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood, Darrol and friends also made names for themselves summiting their peaks in record times much to the amazement of forestry officials.
College days shaped the 2nd quarter of Darrol’s life, taking him out of the cloister of the valley and introducing him to the larger world beyond. In 1971, he earned a degree in education from Cascade College and Southern Oregon University and then spent the next five years plying his teacherly wisdom in a range of classrooms from Seattle to Skamania. In time, Darrol discovered that basketball wasn’t the only passion that could capture his heart. In 1970 he met Martha Hefley at Southern Oregon University. They courted, fell in love and were married in Medford Oregon on Saturday, Sept. 10, 1977.
Marriage coincided with the beginning of the “third quarter” of Darrol’s life. Leaving the world of instruction in the classroom, Darrol found his real calling in the world of construction on the building site. Trout Lake is a wonderful witness to the fact.
A major part of Darrol’s legacy to Trout Lake are the more than 30 houses he designed and built for the town’s residents. Every one remains a testimony to his skill, care and craftsmanship. In the process of building houses, Darrol built productive lives and fruitful lifelong relationships with beneficiaries and workers alike. To work with Darrol was to become a better person and Trout Lake will surely miss him.
The last few years, Darrol moved into the “fourth quarter” of his life. As his game of life started drawing to a close, he began to age. The old Mustang began to slow down on the basketball court and the builder had to start laying down his tools. Through it all his faith and love for Christ, always the “ground zero” of his life, remained as strong and stalwart as ever.
As he approached the end of his game, he lived in the assurance of the forgiveness and salvation offered him in Christ and was absolutely sure that the end of his game on earth could never be the end of his story in the world to come. He put his hope for his ultimate future in the promise in Scripture of a “fifth quarter”… a 5th quarter that will know no time clock or buzzer and will last for eternity; a 5th quarter where the fouls and foibles of his life will be forgiven and forgotten; a 5th quarter where his body will be redeemed and made new.
Darrol is survived by his wife Martha, his elder sister Donita, a son and a daughter, Tobin and Shannon, their spouses, Christy and Charles, and two treasured grandchildren, Esther and Titus. He loved them all and was loved by them all, more than life.
A favorite T-shirt Darrol often wore was emblazoned with the words “Due to circumstances beyond my control, I turned out wonderful.” He did indeed! An outstanding Christian, a trusted mentor, a craftsman and builder par excellance, a brother, a husband, a dad, a grandfather like no other … and a tireless ball player to boot … he lived a well-played life. He was ready for the buzzer and ready to meet the Lord who loved him, called him and had been his life-long referee, coach, time-keeper and cheerleader. May Darrol’s “fifth quarter” be wonderful beyond anything he could have anticipated.
A memorial service for Darrol was held on July 29, 2019, in Trout Lake.