Cover photo for Dr. Charles Pinckney Darby, Jr.'s Obituary
Dr. Charles Pinckney Darby, Jr. Profile Photo

Dr. Charles Pinckney Darby, Jr.

June 11, 1933 — February 7, 2024

Charleston, SC

Dr. Charles Pinckney Darby, Jr.

Dr. Charles P. Darby, Jr., Pediatrician and Philanthropist, died peacefully in his sleep on February 7, 2024, at the age of 90. His funeral service will be held Monday, February 12, 2024 in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, 120 Broad Street at 10:00 a.m. followed immediately by a reception in the Carolina Yacht Club. Burial will be private. Arrangements by J. Henry Stuhr, Inc., Mt. Pleasant Chapel.

Charlie’s life passion was his family and his devotion to the welfare of children. He dedicated his life to the service of others. Charlie’s exceptional qualities of intelligence, compassion, unwavering dedication to family, gentle humor, and vibrant spirit were powerful. He had an outsized influence on everyone he met and wielded his influence with purpose and integrity.

Charlie was born on June 11, 1933, in Mount Pleasant, SC, to the late Charles Pinckney Darby and Helen Freeman Darby. Growing up in the Old Village of Mt. Pleasant, Charlie’s personality was equal parts grit and curiosity, which fueled his successful academic and athletic career. Whether it was working for his family’s boatyard business on Shem Creek with his brother Gordon or starring for the Moultrie Generals 1950 State football champions, he excelled through consistency and dedication. After high school, he continued his academic and football career at the Citadel Military College of South Carolina. 

During his time at The Citadel, Charlie met the love of his life, Joyce Carolyn Long, and was called to a life in pediatrics, which provided him with the greatest platform to serve others. Charlie and Joyce wed in 1955 while he was in his first year at The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). Together, they celebrated 66 wonderful years before her passing in 2021. Charlie and Joyce were blessed with five children.

Following the completion of his graduate medical education at MUSC, Dr. Darby embarked on the next phase of his journey by undertaking pediatric resident training at Duke University, a place that held a special spot in his heart as a lifelong fan of the Blue Devils. Returning to Mt. Pleasant, Charlie opened the sole pediatric practice on Coleman Boulevard where he practiced with dedication and compassion, including regular house calls. Striving to enhance his ability to care for children, in 1969, Charlie completed a microbiology and infectious disease fellowship in London, England, at The Hospital for Sick Children on Great Ormand Street. Returning to Charleston, he was recruited to join the MUSC faculty, becoming the Chairman of Pediatrics in 1982.

Charlie believed that every child needed a champion, someone who would stand up for them no matter the task. A visionary, his passion propelled a community to roll up their sleeves and make a difference. His generosity abounded, he was devoted to making the hospital he founded in 1987, MUSC Children’s Hospital, a place where every child could feel safe, loved, and cared for, but first and foremost, where they could be children.

Driven to provide the best care possible and attract the best practitioners, Charlie went onward to establish the MUSC Children’s Fund, The Charles P. Darby Children’s Research Institute, and the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Charleston. He strongly believed these pillars of care are essential to serve the community and support children, all causes he worked tirelessly to grow and support. Dr. Darby received numerous accolades for his work, which he accepted with modesty and humility, knowing they represented better care for those in need.
 Charlie’s colleagues relate his power of influence and his ability to inspire and change the lives around him. His residents and medical students emulated and adored him. He was the pinnacle of excellence, not only in what he did, but who he was. 

Charlie’s family is proud beyond measure of his accomplishments and accolades. Following many awards and recognition, his family began affectionately referring to him as their “Man of the Year, Every Year.” He found great joy at the intersection of three of his passions: being outdoors, physical fitness, and spending time with his family. Whether on a boat, atop a ski mountain, amidst a camping trip, or engaged in crabbing, fishing, hiking, tennis, ping-pong, swimming, or various other sports, he embraced each moment with boundless enthusiasm, patience, and humor. For Charlie, these activities were not merely pastimes but cherished opportunities to create enduring memories and the opportunity to teach what he loved to the people he loved most.

 He epitomized devotion to his family and friends, demonstrating lovingly through his actions rather than words what it means to live a fulfilling life. Leading by example, Charlie set a profound precedent for his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He founded or co-founded many organizations in the Lowcountry, including the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Charleston, HALOS, and the local United Way chapter. And together with Joyce, Charlie established a family foundation in their name, embodying their shared values. Their guiding principle was clear: lead a life rooted in a place of service. This pursuit is one that Charlie's family holds close to their hearts, striving to embody the spirit of their beloved "Poopsie" in their everyday lives.  

He was predeceased by his loving wife, Joyce Carolyn Long Darby and his grandchild, William Sullivan Parker.

Charlie is survived by his children: Charles Pinckney Darby III (Tammy), Elizabeth Darby Haizlip (Ken), Anne Darby Parker (Scott), John Charles Long Darby (Georgia), and Joya Darby Wolf (Matt); grandchildren: Charles Pinckney Darby IV (Maria), Anne Lee Haizlip McCrea (Brandon), Alberta Sottile Long Darby, John Wesley Haizlip (Lauren), Joyce Carolyn Darby Wood (Allen), Darby Scott Parker (Danielle), John Charles Long Darby, Jr. (Susannah), Arthur Homer Darby, Christopher Pinckney Parker, Tambra Leland Darby Sisk (Peter), Helen Elizabeth Darby Barnes (Whit), Cecilia Darby Wolf, Lucile Stadler Wolf, Elizabeth Darby Haizlip, Amelia Anne Sullivan Parker, and David Lawrence Wolf; his brother, Gordon Darby (Anne); and his sister-in-law, Mary Ellen Way (d. Charlie). His spirit remains strong through his 19 great-grandchildren

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that gifts be made in his honor to the Joyce and Charles Darby Family Foundation, 310 Broad St., Charleston, SC 29401 - Attn: Katie Edwards; or to Dr. Charles P. Darby, Jr., Department of Pediatrics Research Endowment, MUSC Children’s Hospital Fund, 59 Bee Street, MSC 201, Charleston, SC 29425. For additional information please email: bazemore@musc.edu.
 
 A memorial message may be sent to the family by visiting our website at www.jhenrystuhr.com.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dr. Charles Pinckney Darby, Jr., please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Funeral Service

Monday, February 12, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Cathedral of St. John The Baptist

120 Broad St, Charleston, SC 29401

Additional parking with shuttle service to the Cathedral will be available at the Carolina Yacht Club, 50 East Bay Street.

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Reception

Monday, February 12, 2024

Starts at 11:30 am (Eastern time)

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