A member of our “Greatest Generation” left us on Friday, October 30, 2020. Darwin Kanyer passed on at his home in Cle Elum, with family at his side, at the age of 95. He fought a short but aggressive cancer with dignity and clear and firm decision making. There was never a man more kind, generous and humble. He will greatly be missed by everyone who knew him.
Darwin was born in Roslyn, Washington on January 17, 1925 to Tony and Nina Kanyer, the middle of three children, between older brother Dave, and younger sister Jenny. He went to Roslyn schools and graduated from Cle Elum High School in 1942, excelling on the football, basketball and baseball teams, stoking a lasting passion for sports. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps, becoming an aircraft mechanic, and serving as a Crew Chief primarily on C-47 transport planes. He was very proud of his service. He was stationed in many locales while serving, and the small-town kid greatly expanded his experience. He developed his lifelong love of jazz music during this time, and, while stationed in Los Angeles, was snuck into an afterhours club by some fellow GI’s. To his amazement, a jam session was occurring that included Billie Holiday and Charley Parker.
After his discharge, he met a cute Italian girl from Cle Elum at a dance. After courting, he married the love of his life, Dolores Dogliatti on September 29, 1951. They celebrated 69 years of marriage during his sickness. Sons Dan (Janell), Dave (Margie) and Doug (Laurie) were born in succession soon after.
Darwin always worked hard, physical jobs, and often for small compensation. He worked road construction and forestry before following his dad into coal mining. When the mines closed, he worked for the M.C. Miller sawmill, until finding his “calling” as USPS letter carrier, which he made a career of until retiring in the mid-eighties. All of Cle Elum loved Dar the mailman. His hard work provided well for his wife and family.
In his retirement years, Darwin and Dolores loyally followed grandkids’ sports, travelled a bit (Italy, Hawaii, Reno, Vegas) and enjoyed life at home, much of it revolving around the Catholic Church. He was a devout parishioner, and very much admired our current Pope. He was also greatly involved with the Cle Elum volunteer Fire Department for many years.
Darwin is survived by Dolores, his sister Jen Gouge Manning (husband Dick), his sons and their spouses, five grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and several nephews and their families. His brother Dave and parents Nina and Tony preceded him in death.
The family wishes to particularly thank Tana, and Rose, Dar’s hospice nurse and aide.
At his request, and with the additional COVID restrictions, there will be no traditional funeral or reception, only a graveside for close family. Instead of flowers, the family would prefer a donation in his name to the Cle Elum Fire Department or to Hospice Friends, both who provide wonderful services.
Johnston & Williams Funeral Home and Crematory of Cle Elum has been entrusted with caring for Darwin’s family. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.johnston-williams.com
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