Memorial Spaceflights

John R. J. Darby, MD

"We love you. Wahoozin!"
1956 - 2018

Dr. John R. J. Darby was known to friends and loved ones as Randy or “Doc” throughout his life. His fascination with science, aviation, and space began when he was a young boy, building and launching "rockets" in his backyard with several other like-minded neighborhood boys. Young Randy's curiosity occasionally got him into some trouble but was the foundation of his life-long love of learning.  

Randy was born in Champaign, Illinois, the son of Joseph and Eleanor Darby, brother to Jay, Les, and Pete. He received his undergraduate degree from Knox College in 1979, graduated from Tufts Medical School in 1984 and served in the United States Air Force as Chief of Flight Medicine at Reese Air Force Base in Lubbock Texas. He loved flying T-38s and was known fondly on the base as "Doc Darby".

In 1989 he moved to Maine and began his anesthesia residency at Maine Medical Center in Portland.  He completed a Pain Fellowship from 1992-1993 at Harvard's Beth Israel Hospital in Boston before returning as an attending physician at MMC in 1993. 

Randy served in many capacities for MMC and Spectrum Healthcare Partners, including several years as director of Spectrum's Southern Anesthesiology Division. He was a clinical associate professor in the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine and was instrumental in the creation of the Hannaford Center for Safety, Innovation, and Simulation, where he became its first medical director.  His passion for medical education led him to train and support numerous anesthesiologists and medical providers. In 2017, he expanded his efforts abroad, serving as an advisor to the hospital in Kigali, Rwanda, as they developed an anesthesia simulation program of their own.  

Randy loved traveling the world, aviation and being outdoors. In his free time, he could be found working in his gardens and apple orchard, beekeeping, playing pick-up ice hockey, cycling, fishing, hiking, and skiing. He especially enjoyed taking his boat, Ramble On, (Led Zeppelin was his all-time favorite band) for a cruise around Casco Bay. 

Randy will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 34 years, Corinn, daughters Emily and Rachel, brothers Jay and Pete, sisters-in-law, Susan, Gail and Michele, and nieces, Laurel, Jenny, Lily, and Isabelle. He’d be thrilled about his next big journey into space! 

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