Alphonzo Beauregard Council Darling III (Count) was born September 28, 1933 in Andalusia, Alabama, the son of Count and Eva May Darling. He attended Georgia Military Academy prep school, the University of the South (Sewanee) and the University of Alabama.
Count had four children during his first marriage: Dawn Darling (Larry Jones) of Jacksonville, Florida; Count Darling (Lisa) of Fayetteville, Arkansas; Wendy Darling (Terry Wilfong) of Peachtree City, Georgia; and Eve Darling (Thomas Keough) of southwest France. Among them are nine grandchildren: Erika and Gretchen Gludovatz; Tiffany, Ashley and Beau Darling; Diane and Nora Wilfong; and Remington and Deirdre Keough; along with great grandchildren and nieces Betty, Robin and nephew Donny. He is also survived by numerous friends. He was preceded in death by his parents and two sisters, Betty and Jean.
He married Janie Upward of Birmingham, Michigan in 1982 and they have lived in Naples Florida since 1995. They belong to Royal Poinciana Golf Club, Hole in the Wall Golf Club and Wilderness Country Club.
Count served in the US Army 1954-1956 and although not airborne qualified, he was attached at different times to both the 101st and 82nd Airborne Division and to the 7th Army during his tour in Germany. After the Army, Count entered the family business which included a Chevrolet-Cadillac dealership and wholesale Amoco petroleum products distributorship.
He left the family business and became a partner in a sales and management consulting firm, Williamson, Merrill, Taylor and Darling, based in Birmingham, Alabama, specializing in the automotive industry. Count ran the Birmingham, Michigan office with Pontiac Motor Division, Cadillac Motor Division and General Motors Corporation as his major clients.
D’Arcy, McManus Masius acquired the Michigan operation and formed Intergroup Marketing and Promotions (IMP). Count’s greatest love during his working years as CEO of IMP was being the liaison between the Ad Agency corporate management and the GM senior management. Count had a unique talent as a speechwriter and over three decades served in this capacity to many of GM’s key executives.
Count believed in what he termed “paying his civic rent”. His past civic and social activities include Rotary International, District VP of the Alabama Republican Party, Commodore of the Pine Harbor Yacht Club, Trustee of the Detroit Historical Society, and Vice President of the Board of Bloomfield Hills Country Club. He was very proud of his role as Chairman of the Founders Fund at the Club Pelican Bay. He also served on the Board of Habitat for Humanity of Collier County, and he never tired of telling anyone who would listen about this wonderful faith-based organization. As well, he proudly served as a volunteer at the Neighborhood Health Clinic in Naples.
Count’s interests included writing, history, golf, boating, fishing, travel, Alabama Football and Ground Hogs Day. He was a true Southern Gentleman who loved life and loved his family and friends. He had a great sense of humor and no one told jokes as well as Count did. ROLL TIDE!
A memorial service celebrating Count’s life will be held on Thursday, April 25 at 4pm at Trinity by the Cove Episcopal Church in Naples. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Habitat for Humanity, the Neighborhood Health Clinic, the Founders Fund or the Little Traverse Bay Humane Society in Harbor Springs, Michigan.
He will be laid to rest in Andalusia, Alabama.