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Philippe Lucien Darcy

philippe darcy

March 18, 1937 ~ February 7, 2024

Born in: Paris, France
Resided in: Alexandria, Virginia

Philippe Lucien Darcy

March 18, 1937 – February 7, 2024

Philippe L. Darcy, an extraordinary man whose extraordinary life took him all over the world, passed peacefully on February 7th, at the age of 86 in Alexandria, Virginia.  Philippe is survived by his wife of 32 years, Terry Darcy.  He was the beloved Father of Colonel (ret.) Philippe Darcy (Devon) of Carlisle, PA, Carmel Darcy (Roy Herman) of Alexandria, VA, and Jennifer (David) McKay of Phoenix, AZ.  He was also the beloved Grandfather to Nicole Bonjean Berardo (Tony) of Alexandria, VA, Kristi Darcy of San Diego, CA, Dara Stockdell of Eugene, OR, Ethan Stockdell of Carlisle, PA, Olivia Mckay of Phoenix, AZ, and Sofia McKay of Phoenix, AZ. He was the Great Grandfather to Annie Berardo of Alexandria, VA.  He was the Brother of Jean-Charles (Carmen) Crapez of Plérin, France, Uncle to many nephews and nieces, and Father to his sweet dog Bobbi Darcy.

The family is eternally grateful to Karen Paz Guiterrez, forever now our family, who provided compassionate and loving care to Philippe, always staying one step ahead of her “malo niño”.

Phil (known lovingly by family and extended family as “Papi”) had a personal history suited for an adventure novel.   Born on March 18, 1937, in Paris, France he had as a cruel third year birthday present the arrival of the Nazis in his home country.  As many French children were, Phil was sent alone on a train into the countryside for safety.  Fate would lead him to the little town of Ozillac, where he was adopted by the local baker, Raymond, and his wife Yvonne, two kind souls who gave him (what he later called) “the best part of his childhood” amid the struggle against the invaders.  He often told us tales of these days as if it was some idyllic boyhood in an innocent wonderland.  So began his lifelong philosophy of always finding the best of even the most awful situations.  Here also began his lifelong service to others, as he helped plant surreptitious messages in the baguettes to “sell” to the French Resistance.  Phil might have been the youngest freedom fighter in France.

After his childhood in France, he fell in love with the United States, a love affair he maintained all his days.  In 1955 he enlisted in the US Army and finally arrived in his adopted homeland.  There he earned his GED, gained his citizenship, enrolled in college, and began his long career in service to the Federal Government.  That career would take him abroad, including stints in Germany, Senegal, and Egypt.  His career was centered on the oversight of helping developing countries improve the living conditions of their people.

In the US in 1962, Phil also began his long career as the patriarch of a loving and successful family.  He married Elidia Martinez and together they had three children Philippe, Carmel, and Jennifer.   Tragedy struck in 1978 when Lilly died of cancer and the young father was left to raise his three children alone.  The tales of those days would be recipe for a wonderful, loving childhood with the bewildered, unprepared widower relying on the most unconventional of methods—but somehow it all worked.  If there was a challenging day, Phil would play Edith Piaf “Non, je ne regrette rien”, “No Regrets”.

All these hardships would perhaps have embittered other men, but for Phil the circumstances had a different affect.  He became grateful for anything good life brought his way.  He was compassionate and forgiving always, gentle with people and animals who invariably loved him in return.  He found pleasure in the simplest and smallest joys like a leafy green salad with a vinaigrette.  His eyes would light up around beautiful produce, like a ripened artichoke or tomato.  He loved jogging in the woods.  Indeed, he jogged until he was eighty-four years old, and loved to tell people he jogged the equivalent of several times around the world.

Perhaps his most endearing quality was his gentle acceptance of whatever fate sent his way.  Maybe that is the only way to survive when one is born into a world of Nazi brutality and is separated from parents one hardly knows.  But fate was much kinder after this harsh beginning, and for the many years sent him all the love and joy a person could expect.  Phil shared this love and joy with everyone around him.  And, at the end when his illness set in, he would not complain, but would accept his condition with grace and good humor.  Such he was until the last breath, thoughtful of others first.  Bless you, Phil, thank you for being such a delightful source of joy in all our lives.

A Catholic Mass will be held at Our Lady Queen of Peace Roman Catholic Church, 2700 South 19th Street, Arlington, VA 22204 at 11:00 am on Friday, February 23rd, followed by a burial at Ivy Hill Cemetery, 2823 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22302.  A donation can be made to Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation


Funeral Mass: February 23, 2024 11:00 am

Our Lady Queen of Peace
2700 19th Street, South
Arlington, VA 22204


Committal Service: February 23, 2024 1:00 pm

Ivy Hill Cemetery
2823 King St.
Alexandria, VA 22302


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Memories Timeline


  1. Dear Carmel, my condolences with the passing of your beloved father, Phillipe. I remember how fondly you always spoke of him.

  2. I am so sorry for your loss. May your Father rest in peace. He will forever live on in your memories, heart, and spirit.

  3. It’s hard to write a memory in his name because there are so many. He was my beloved uncle and was one of those uncles everyone hopes to be blessed enough to have. He was a constant in my life, always there for me in good times and bad. He encouraged me, cheered me on, listened to me, helped me, and loved me all my life. There’s no one like him. His loss has left a huge hole in the hearts of many, mine included. I love him and will always be thankful that l had an uncle like him. I love you Uncle Phil❤️

  4. Carmel, My deepest condolences to you and the entire family. I’m sorry for your loss.

    Thank you for making this obituary open to us to learn and recognize Phil’s amazing life.

  5. Dear Terry, I am so sorry for your loss. I remember the wonderful conversations I had with Philippe and of course the wonderful dinners. May he rest in peace.

  6. What I always remember about Phil is his sense of humor and his wit, and that it did not matter to him who you were or what you did.What was important to him was what you had to say and that he wanted you to have a chance to be his friend.

  7. Dear Carmel, my sincere condolences to you and your family. You father has gone ahead, and is now in a better place. Thank you for sharing the obituary with us, so we can join in celebrating the amazing life he had. We are all passing by this earth. We hope that your Dad’s life will continue to inspire us all.

  8. Darcy family: knew Phil since 1976 Served together in Dakar, Senegal and Washington DC. We would get together occasionally for a beer and try to solve the world’s problems. He was a very positive person with a good natured attitude. He will be missed. RIP Phil.

  9. Dear Carmel,

    In memory of a life well lived from the Cooley Family. Your father will surely be in your heart and looking out for you always.

  10. My deepest condolences to his family. Especially his wife, Terry. I am so sorry for your loss and the grief you must feel. I got to know Phil and Terry when I worked for Watergate at Landmark many years ago. My heartfelt prayers are with you, Terry, now and always.

    – Vickie Paulson

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