LOVING FAMILY: Darryl Mattingley at the 2017 Easter Parade, with his wife, children, their partners and grandchildren.
LOVING FAMILY: Darryl Mattingley at the 2017 Easter Parade, with his wife, children, their partners and grandchildren. Photo: Contributed

A life of love and laughter

DARRYL Charles Mattingley was born on June 1, 1950, at Emerald Hospital to Horace and Isabel Mattingley.

He was their third child, a younger brother to Ernest, who died before Darryl was born, and Dianne. He was also the older brother to Garry, Donna and Glenn.

A beautiful baby, Darryl was awarded Champion Baby at the Emerald Baby Show.

It was a win that he never let any of his family forget, taking any opportunity to tell the story and puff up his chest.

A talented man from an early age, his brother Gary recalls Darryl building the best cubby house in Emerald, complete with windows and doors and not one leak, even before silastic was invented.

The brothers also built a log cabin in the bush between the top weir and Nogoa Gap, now Fairbairn Dam.

Always a prankster, Darryl loved playing tricks on his siblings.

Dianne remembers one, in particular, which he played on her.

They were playing in the back shed at the fire station and he said, 'here, hold these two wires for me'.

Being a trusting big sister, she did as he instructed.

What she didn't know was that the wires were connected to an old telephone. Darryl then wound the handle with great gusto and Dianne received a big shock.

She was most upset but Darryl thought it was a great joke and couldn't stop laughing. These pranks continued throughout Darryl's life.

On another occasion, he had pulled up at his mother in law's house in his Emerald Fire Brigade Jeep and asked her to check that his brake lights were working. As she bent down to have a look, he dropped the clutch, sprayed her with mud and took off laughing.

Darryl was a community man and loved Emerald. Among many other jobs, he was an ambulance bearer, volunteer fire fighter, and fire captain and a founding member of the ski club and apex damtastic.

But, he also had a driven side. He always worked on push-bikes and helped his father with car repairs.

It was no surprise to his family when he left school and started an apprenticeship at Loch's Ford Garage.

His skill with cars was undeniable and, after the five-year apprenticeship and weekly assignments, Darryl graduated with honours.

Darryl Mattingley.
Darryl Mattingley. Photo: Contributed

During his time at Loch's Garage a new office girl started, her name was Shelly Edwards. A romantic man, Darryl won her over with a few dates, consisting of dragging cars on the western hill.

On December 12, 1970, the couple married and shortly after their first son, Jeffrey was born.

The Mattingleys started their first business venture shortly after Jeffrey arrived, at the Ampol Service Station, where Woolworths Petrol Plus stands today.

While at the service station Darryl also repaired cars, and resold them.

He never had any trouble selling the cars he repaired, as people knew, although they had been repaired, they were repaired properly. Because, as everything Darryl did in life, he did properly.

During this time, the pair also owned the local tow truck business.

Darryl was an entrepreneur and when Winton and Theresa Creek would flood, he would head down with his tow truck and trailer and ferry people across for $10 per trip.

The family's next child was a little girl, Fiona.

Everyone knew the night Fiona arrived as Darryl took to the streets tooting the horn as he was drove down the road.

Years later, Shelly and Darryl made the decision to extend the family with another little girl, Darna.

Darna was followed by twin boys, Cam and Kyle.

DC & SM Mattingley House Removalists was started in 1971, shortly after Darryl and Shelly purchased a house, then hired two trucks to move it.

The business has been a successful and highly regarded business for more than 40 years.

Over his working life, Darryl had many titles which he added to his resume, mechanic, panel beater, tow truck driver, ambulance bearer, fire fighter, fire captain, developer, house mover and house renovator, which all supported his favourite title, car enthusiast, car collector or what we would call car hoarder.

He spent many weekends, travelling around car shows, making new friends and fond memories. His passion started with one XY GT, which eventuated into Monaros, Minis, Mokes, even more GTs and spare parts that would make any car-wrecking yard jealous.

Darryl was a man of great love and even greater life lessons. He taught his children everything they needed to know. Spending afternoons after school and school holidays with his children moving houses or at the workshop in machines or under them.

In 2001, Darryl's first grandchild Rave Caleb was born.

He became midwife assistant for the night and continued into the early morning, before shooting off to stump a house. He was always the worker.

Darryl was very outspoken at the name Rave, and argued that you could not call a child Rave, and even refused to use it.

"I will call him Caleb”, Darryl would say, but eventually he caved.

Two years later, his first granddaughter, Meisha arrived, followed 12 years later by his next granddaughter Lucy.

Darryl will not be here to welcome grandchild number four in October, but he will be looking over him or her in spirit.

During his last few months, Darryl often spoke of his concern that his children would be okay, once he was gone.

But he didn't need to worry. He taught his loving family everything they needed to be adults which he would be proud of.

Darryl's middle name Charles came from his grandfather, Charles Lightburn Mattingley.

Lightburn, would have suited Darryl because there was always a light burning in him, and he was always wanting to do things.

His light burnt out too soon.

Throughout recent years Darryl Mattingley fought a brain stem glioma.

Surrounded by loving family, Darryl died at Emerald Hospital, on July12, 2017, he was 67-years old.