Commissioner Emma Darnell 
Photo: File photo
Photo: File photo

Funeral arrangements announced for Fulton Commissioner Emma Darnell

An Atlanta councilwoman has announced funeral arrangements for Emma Darnell, a Fulton County commissioner and longtime public servant who died at age 84 on Sunday.

The service will be at 11 a.m. on Monday, May 13, at Jackson Memorial Baptist Church, 534 Fairburn Road NW, said Atlanta Councilwoman Andrea Boone at a City Council meeting Monday.


MORE | Fulton Commissioner Emma Darnell dies at 84 after decades of service


“We lost a very fierce advocate of this city,” Councilwoman Natalyn Archibong said during the meeting. “She will be deeply, deeply missed.”

The county said in a news release Tuesday that arrangements are being handled by Willie Watkins Funeral Home, 1003 Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard SW. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Friends of Darnell, Inc., which supports the Fulton senior center bearing the name of Darnell’s mother at 677 Fairburn Road NW in Atlanta.

Though she was serving her eighth term with the Fulton County Commission, Darnell’s connection to Atlanta government dates back to the late 60s when Mayor Sam Massell brought her in with his administration.


Share your condolences | Read and sign the online guestbook for Emma Darnell


Darnell, a lawyer,  managed city contracts at all levels of government. That made her the highest-ranking woman in Atlanta government at the time.

Emma Darnell (Fulton County Government)

Current Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms wrote in a statement Sunday that Darnell had encouraged her over the years.

“She cultivated her leadership during a time when both her race and gender could have been a hindrance. But Commissioner Darnell challenged the status quo with a fierce determination to achieve equality for the people of Atlanta and Fulton County,” Bottoms wrote.

As of late, Darnell had been largely absent from Fulton government meetings while recovering from a foot injury and battling an undisclosed illness.


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Fulton Commissioner Emma Darnell dies at 84

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