Cover photo for Darren William Haney's Obituary
Darren William Haney Profile Photo
1967 Darren 2020

Darren William Haney

February 7, 1967 โ€” April 11, 2020

CARBONDALE โ€“ Darren William Haney, 53, passed away on Saturday, April 11, 2020 at home.

Darren is survived by his wife, Laura Van Abbema of Carbondale; father, George William Haney and step-mother, Sylvia Beck of Greensboro, NC; brother, David Haney of Lawrence, KS; sister, Dawn Haney (Paul Engelhardt) of Oak Park; step-sisters, Liz Spidell and Lori Jarrett; uncle, Roland Kratzner; aunt, Judy Kratzner; nephews, Linus and Benjamin Engelhardt; cousins, Julie, Mark and Jonathan (Nicole) Kratzner; mother-in-law, Cheryl Van Abbema; and mischievous cat, Pinky.

He was preceded in death by his mother; maternal grandparents, Julian and Mildred Kratzner; paternal grandparents, George and Helen Haney, and father-in-law Donald Van Abbema.

Darren was born on February 7, 1967 to George William and Donna (Kratzner) Haney in Muncie, IN. He married Laura Van Abbema on September 9, 2006 in Stoughton, WI.

Darren attended Southern Illinois University at Carbondale where he studied Spanish and Classics and the University of Wisconsin where he received his PhD in historical Spanish linguistics. Darren worked as a teacher for the Murphysboro School District where he taught Spanish and English as a Second Language. He was a passionate and dedicated teacher who cared immensely about his students, both inside and outside the classroom.

Itโ€™s likely that Darren inherited his musical genius from his mother, Donna, who was a gifted and accomplished classical pianist. Darren played guitar, banjo and pedal steel; he was a prolific songwriter who was also a skillful and soulful vocalist. He often played open mics at Hangar 9, Tres Hombres and Brews Brothers, performing an eclectic mix of jazz, old country and Spanish/Portuguese favorites. He was a friend of the Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship where he often sang in the choir and played with the Unitarian Folk Orchestra. He will be sorely missed by his fellow musicians.

Darren loved to travel, both to actual physical lands, such as Spain, Italy and Mexico, and in literary adventures, enjoying such authors as Catullus, Cervantes, Mark Twain, Jack Kerouac, Kurt Vonnegut, Sam Shepard and David Sedaris.

Darren often kept family and friends in stitches with his random and unexpected observations of lifeโ€™s idiosyncrasies, rivaling the best comedians. He often did lovable impressions of Jimmy Stewart, Hank Hill and others, including loved ones (whether you knew it or not ๐Ÿ˜‰).

Darren was a caring and generous soul. He was always willing and eager to respond when he saw someone in need or pain. Some of his final Facebook posts regarded collaboration with his dear friend Bernard to design and make facemasks to fight the spread of Covid-19. The masks were distributed to Southern Illinois Healthcare and other frontline medical professionals.

Private graveside services were held at Oakland Cemetery in Carbondale. The family thanks Reverend Sarah of the Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship for her guidance.

A Celebration of Life will be Saturday, August 7, 2021 at the Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship at 2 pm with a reception following the service. Guests are welcomed at 1:30 pm.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to

As his uncle Roland (Ron) Kratzner said, โ€œThe death of a loved one is always a time to grieve and little but platitudes can be shared in words. But I believe in the ancient Mexican claim concerning death โ€˜as long as someone is remembered, he will live in your heart and affect your life.โ€™โ€

Meredith Funeral Home in Carbondale assisted the family with arrangements. To leave a story or memory of Darren visit

To order memorial trees in memory of Darren William Haney, please visit our tree store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, August 7, 2021

1:30 - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship

105 North Parrish Lane, Carbondale, IL 62901

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Celebration of Life

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship

105 North Parrish Lane, Carbondale, IL 62901

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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