Members of the UO Department of Accounting and Lundquist College of Business are mourning the unexpected passing of instructor Bruce Darling last month at age 65 and will hold a celebration of life Monday, March 20, to remember his service to the university and his students.
The gathering will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Lillis Business Complex, with remarks at 7 p.m. Students, faculty, alumni, and community members are invited to attend the full event or stop by when they can. Light refreshments will be served.
An instructor of accounting at the UO since 2010, Darling was a pillar of the Lundquist College, teaching as many as eight classes per year in the accounting and business administration majors as well as in the business minor program. He touched countless students’ lives, not only at the UO but also through his teaching roles at Lane Community College and Northwest Christian University.
In addition to teaching, he ran his own accounting practice since 1980, focusing on small businesses and taxes.
Darling developed a strong work ethic growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, where his first job was delivering newspapers while he was in elementary school. After graduating from college, his first accounting job was as a bookkeeper at the Agora Theatre, run by the late Henry LoConti, legendary for his contributions to the rock music industry.
Henry’s brother Nick was the house accountant and took Darling under his wing. When Darling started his accounting firm in 1980, the Agora was one of his first clients.
Darling earned advanced degrees in business, accounting and financial information systems at Cleveland State University. He later became an accounting instructor at Lake Erie College, then Stark State College. He moved to Oregon in 2002 and made his home up the McKenzie River, where he enjoyed the beauty and quiet of the Northwest.
Darling was a man of many stories who endeared himself to his students and colleagues. He hung out with the likes of Tom Petty, David Copperfield, and Pele, once played softball with Bruce Springsteen, watched Meatloaf record the album “Bat Out of Hell,” and had the chance to play professional soccer.
He was a passionate collector and hobbyist, spending time building model trains and playing competitive chess. He embodied a unique sense of joy, evidenced by his big, infectious laugh.
Once, when asked for advice for his students, Darling answered, “Treat your vocation as the treasure it truly is. Take care of it, nurture it, grow it. It will pay dividends all of your life.
He is survived by his wife, Cher Darling; his daughters, Dawn Olsen and Lori Biamonte; and six grandchildren.