In March of 1990, Vanover came to Lynch when he purchased and resumed the operation of Johnson Funeral Home.
A year later, he began the operation of Lifecare Ambulance Service from the Lynch location. The ambulance service initially served the Tri-City area and was later expanded with a Harlan station and now provides emergency medical services throughout the Harlan County area and parts of Letcher County. As part of his work with the ambulance service, he was an activist in getting air ambulance (helicopter) services to the county. He was also active and financially supportive of the activities of the Tri-City Rescue Squad.
Vanover, a licensed funeral director, expanded his funeral business to Cumberland in 2000 with the opening of the Cumberland Valley Funeral Home.
“Pappy”, as he was affectionately referred to by his employees and close friends, was also active in his community. He served on the original Portal 31 committee and was active in fund raisers that benefitted the City of Lynch. He was a Lynch Walk of Fame inductee. When he was not busy working at one of his businesses or volunteering, he loved fishing and being a Kentucky Wildcat fan.
Vanover was born in Letcher County on December 31, 1944, to the late Dewey and Vergie Vanover.
Surviving is his daughter, Stephanie Vanover and her son Nick, Lynch; and his son, Anthony Vanover, Brandenburg, KY; the mother of his children, Betty Vanover, Brandenburg, KY; and the one to whom he referred as his adopted son, Sam Thomas, Lynch.
Also surviving is his companion, Betty Hudack, Lynch, and her grandson, Memphis Hudack, Winchester, KY; whom referred to Darrell as “Papaw”.
The family will receive friends at the Johnson Funeral Home in Lynch on Saturday, February 23, 2013, from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. Funeral Services will begin at 7 p.m. in the chapel with the Rev. Ronnie Hampton officiating.
A private burial will take place at the Vanover Family Cemetery in Tazewell, TN. Employees will serve as pallbearers.
The staff of Johnson and Cumberland Valley Funeral Homes are attending to the professional arrangements.