Scientist, researcher, and author Darien Claire Dorn Mahaffee passed away in Chapel Hill Dec. 4 at age 97. She was born in Saluda, South Carolina Nov. 14 1924. When she enrolled in her local college at 18, she declared her major as “Home Ec” to please her mother, but changed it the next day to Chemistry, eventually earning a masters degree in the subject and another masters in Biochemistry.
Darien loved travel photography, and visited Canada, Europe, Greece, and China. She had the highest regard for the classics in literature and concert music. Darien was an introvert’s introvert, and yet a reliable member of a lively gaggle of friends in Chapel Hill, and of a lunch bunch at Carol Woods Retirement Community.
She was a beloved mother to Patricia Gingrich (Bob), and an adored and active grandmother to Corey Gingrich of Hillsborough and Abby Gingrich (John) of Raleigh.
Darien’s family expresses their gratitude for the loving care Darien received from Carol Woods as she suffered from dementia the last 10 years. It was a soft landing, after all.
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