Darwyn “DJ” Fair II – Remembering a Life Well Lived

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Darwyn “DJ” Fair II and his sister, Jamila

I met young Darwyn, many, including I, called him “DJ” , when he was in preschool.  We had a special bond because we shared the same birthday.  He was a happy child, always smiling.  Jamila, his sister, who was just a few years older, walked with confidence and self-assurance through the lower level of the church.  Darwyn II, attended the Plymouth Educational Center, which is a charter school that grew from the little preschool at our church, the Plymouth United Church of Church.  He was in the first group of students who went all the way from kindergarten through the eighth grade at the Plymouth Educational Center and was accepted at the Detroit Country Day School.

  Little “DJ” was full of life, fun, and a lot of energy, and always seemed to smile.  His father and mother, Darwyn and Volante, encouraged him to play sports.  The sports I remembered seeing him play were little league football and basketball.  He also played on a traveling youth basketball team.  In high school I came out a couple of times to watch him play football at Detroit County Day.  “DJ” was one of those special “coachable” athletes who could play offense and defense.  I never will forget watching him switch up from playing on the offensive line to fullback and actually ran carrying the ball.  He was so big and strong; all I could imagine was how the other team must have felt trying to tackle him.  I watched him and thought to myself, ” I would not want to try to tackle “DJ.”  As it turned out, Darwyn scored a touchdown!  I have never seen anything like it- an offensive lineman is moved to the backfield, he tucks the ball between his arms, bends down to bury the ball into his stomach and barrels like a “Mack “Truck through the defensive line and scores a touch down!  The crowd went wild.  All of us knew we had just experienced something rare on the football field – an offensive lineman, one of the big guys, running with the ball in unstoppable form and fashion.  It was a sight to behold!

From elementary school to high school, and college his dad and mom were great boosters of the sports Darwyn participated in.  Volante, was the quintessential mother who stayed on “DJ” like a hawk to make sure he understood his academic lessons.

Darwyn II, and his family was and are members of the Plymouth United Church of Christ, where I serve as pastor and senior minister.  When “DJ” was 12 years of age he joined the Confirmation Class, which met at my home for 10 weeks on Sundays after church.  During those sessions we talked a lot about prayer, faith, God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  I found him to be thoughtful, faithful, and quick to smile.

After graduating from high school, “DJ” was accepted to John Carroll University.  He played football in college and made friends easily.  After college, “DJ” began to work in Cleveland.  Last year, “DJ” began to assist his mother, father and sister in one of their businesses.  He and his father took an online class last year to sharpen both skill sets.  Darwyn, Sr. told me that one of his proudest moments was the bonding that took place between he and his son as they would discuss off line the nuances of the class.  Darwyn was the Assistant Director of Marketing for  Trenconn which is an international corporation.

Incredibly, at 25 years of age, “DJ” died peacefully last week of sleep apnea.  I cannot imagine losing a child at any age.  So, my prayers are extended to God on behalf of his mother and father, Volante and Darwyn Fair Sr. and his sister, Jamila.

The funeral service for Darwyn II, will take place Saturday, July 23, 2016 at 11 AM at his church, the Plymouth United Church of Christ which is located at 600 E. Warren Ave. Detroit, Michigan 48201 at 11 AM.  A family hour will take place at 10 AM immediately preceding the funeral.  The burial will be at the Elmwood Park Cemetery in Detroit.  Following the funeral  a repast will take place on the lower level of the church.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that contributions be made to Plymouth United Church of Christ Endowed Scholarship Fund in the name of Darwyn Fair II.