Darrell Lee Anderson/Azure was born in Great Falls, Montana, on November 13, 1965. Darrell was a proud member of the Little Shell Chippewa Tribe and spent much of his childhood near the tribe’s center at Hill 57 in Great Falls, Montana. In 2006 Darrell’s volunteer lobbying efforts on behalf of his tribe were formally recognized by Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank as the reason for the congressman’s support of the tribe’s federal recognition bill.
In 1980, Darrell moved to the Flathead Reservation in northwestern Montana, and in 1981 he joined the Scheeler and Matt families through the love of his new family Janice, David, Wayne and Shannon Scheeler. Darrell was among the best football and basketball talent of any generation of his beloved Mission Bulldogs, and he received all-state honors in both sports. He was also a winning golden gloves boxer, and nobody picked on Darrell or his loved ones a second time.
Darrell was an accomplished outdoorsman and fisherman and survived countless adventures, many of which included the conversation between him and his brother about how much trouble they were going to be in with mom, if she found out (which she always did).
In 1989, Darrell moved to Massachusetts to help his brother get settled into law school, and Massachusetts then became Darrell’s permanent home, after an epic cross country journey from Montana with all their possessions tarped into the back of the Darrell’s old-school bright-red off-road Toyota 4x4 (with yellow racing stripes).
In 1996, Darrell joined the City of Newton, Massachusetts, public works department, and pursued his education in engineering, eventually rising to the position of Office Engineer for Newton Public Works. Darrell was the longest serving Newton employee at the end of his service to people and a city he genuinely treasured. Darrell was the man to go to for expertise about where things physically were and how they worked in his city, and his legacy will serve generations in Newton with beautiful and safe places.
Darrell’s most important legacy are his adult son Anthony Lee, and his school age daughters, Sienna Skye and Alexa Cree.
Darrell was a kind and loyal family member and friend, who was beloved by every community he touched, from Montana to Boston Back Bay to Cape Cod. All of us feel diminished by his loss while we celebrate a wonderful man who always insisted he was “just a kid from Montana.”
Darrell Lee Azure lost his last battle with glioblastoma and passed on to be with his ancestors on February 20, 2019. He was gracious in the service of others in their times of need and he was brave and strong and still worried about all of us, during his illness.
Darrell is survived by his son and daughters, his mother and step-father, his brothers and sisters, and a large tribal extended family of Matt’s and Azure’s (Janelle Azure being his beloved touchstone), his Cape Cod family and a host of friends across the country.
There will be a memorial service held for Darrell on June 29, 2019, at 1pm at the St. Ignatius High School football field, and there is a Facebook page “Darrell Lee Azure Memorial” established to provide any updates before the memorial. Please join us in our memories of, and prayers for, Darrell.