'He was that one person that you could call, day or night'

Family and friends of Fountain Valley resident Darrell Green considered him the person to turn to whenever they needed someone to talk to.

Those close to Green said he was always on the phone, giving solicited advice, making up with a friend after a quarrel or just saying hello.

That source of comfort for many is gone. Green, 34, died from a heart attack on Jan. 20.

"He was that one person that you could call, day or night," said his brother, Joe Green. "It didn't matter what time it was."

Darrell Green's death was a shock to nearly everyone who knew him. Family and friends said he was in good shape, played disc golf at Central Park in Huntington Beach frequently and didn't have any known medical complications. Working as a carpenter, Green was fit enough to carry large and heavy items.

"He would carry 15-foot cabinets on his hip, just walking up three flights of stairs acting like it was nothing," Joe Green said.

However, Darrell's sister-in-law, Alicia Lester, said the family had recently learned that Darrell's daughter, Mckenzie, who was born premature, had Marfan syndrome. The disorder affects the heart, bones and nervous system — and it's genetic.

"Her limbs are long, but she also had issues with her heart," Lester said. "Darrell was actually in the process of getting himself checked out just to make sure he was OK, but unfortunately before he could do that, he passed."

Jenifer Stewart, a high school girlfriend and long-time friend of Green's, said she is grateful that he kept her in his life after they broke up and after he married his wife, Sarah.

"We made the decision that we would continue to be best friends, and Sarah accepted me and allowed me to be a part of their lives," Stewart said. "I don't know what I would have done without him."

Jack Stewart, Jenifer's brother, said he didn't care for Green when he first met him because he was dating his sister, but bad feelings fell by the wayside and they slowly became friends.

"Once I started really hanging out with him and getting to know him, I started realizing that he and I had a lot of stuff in common," he said. "We were into car stereos and trucks and all kinds of stuff. Plus he and I loved a good party."

Darrell Green leaves his wife, Sarah, 29, and daughter, Mckenzie, 4. Green's funeral will be held at the Huntington Beach Elks Lodge at 3 p.m. Feb. 13.

An online donation fund has been set up to help his family. Those who wish to donate can do so at youcaring.com.

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