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Dec 2020 — Obituary

Darby Moss Worth

October 25, 1924 ‑ January 20, 2018

Thank you to the six individuals who participated in our 2018 study with Washington State University and donated their bodies to help bring Recompose to life. The results of this study proved the Recompose process is safe and effective, and the study helped us legalize the process. We couldn’t have done it without the support of these individuals and their friends and family and are so grateful for their role in bringing the seeds of Recompose to life. 

Darby Moss Worth transitioned into the universe January 20, 2018 at the venerable age of 93, after a short period of declining health. She said, “I am an earthling, but the universe calls me. Next I will be soil.” She wanted to be buried in her front yard, but when that proved impossible, she agreed to be flown to Washington State for a pilot program of composting human bodies. No embalming, no casket, no cremation.

Darby’s friend, Nellie Jane Ryder said, “Darby wanted to be part of, and defender of, our precious earth. No save-the-universe plan was too difficult for her to tackle with her creative energy. No idea to save democracy was too far-fetched for her. If there was a petition to sign, her clipboard was at the ready, even attached to her walker. Our world will be less safe or beautiful without our Darby.”

Darby was born in Chester, Pennsylvania, October 25, 1924. After college she became a stewardess for TWA on early flights across the Pacific. She later moved to the Carmel area to become a teacher at River School and then at Tularcitos School. She is remembered and loved by hundreds of former students, and she enjoyed staying in touch with them.Darby loved life, the earth, and people who paid attention. She celebrated each day by working to make things better or to preserve what we have. She and her husband, Stanley Worth, worked for years to prevent a freeway from going through Hatton Canyon in Carmel. Before that she helped educate people to save the Carmel River. Her phone message said, “Let’s all wage peace!” She waged peace by working to abolish corporate personhood (getting corporate money out of our elections), by campaigning for single-payer health care for all, and by striving to end war. Most recently she wanted everyone to get on board to reverse climate change. She always had a drive for justice and was fearless in speaking her truth. A 2007 article in Peace Weavers, when she was an honoree as an Outstanding Woman of Monterey County, described how she had been aware of social justice issues in high school and was inspired by her grandfather, who was a visionary. The bombing of Japan in WWII convinced her then that war was not the answer.

Darby never stopped learning and teaching others. She loved the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute classes at CSUMB and journalists Amy Goodman and Chris Hedges. Her friends came to expect phone calls telling them to switch the channel to something she felt was important and wanted us to hear. Each time we saw her we would be given articles and books she wanted us to read.

Darby treasured her friends and community, especially members of the local peace movement and the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Monterey Peninsula, plus artists of all kinds. She spent her final days in her living room sharing her love and reading poetry with people who came to say good-bye. We celebrated her life on Saturday, March 17, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at the Community Church of the Monterey Peninsula, 4590 Carmel Valley Road, Carmel. Donations in her honor may be made to a charity of your choice.

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Land Acknowledgement

Recompose acknowledges we make our lives and livelihoods on the lands of the Coast Salish People, specifically the Duwamish People. We honor with gratitude the Duwamish People past and present, the land itself, and the Duwamish Tribe.

Colonization is an active, persistent process. Indigenous communities continue to be resilient in protecting their ecological and cultural lifeways and deathways despite ongoing oppression. Recompose respects, shares, and supports this commitment to climate healing and environmental justice. Join Recompose in contributing to Real Rent Duwamish.

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