21 January 2009
BERKELEY — Eugene Dar-ling, an editor with the School of Public Health's Labor Occupational Health Program (LOHP), has died from a massive heart attack at the age of 63. The exact date of death is unknown; his body was discovered at his home in El Cerrito on Dec. 8.
Darling, born in 1944, began his career at Berkeley as a graduate student in 1967. In 1974 he joined the Center for Labor Research and Education to be part of LOHP, then a new organization; it was established soon after passage of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act in 1970, to help the labor movement take full advantage of workers' new rights to health and safety on the job.
Starting at LOHP as a clerical worker, he "quickly became a jack of all trades," colleagues recall. In addition to running the office, he took on the center's financial management. Drawing on his writing and editing skills, he started LOHP's first publication, The Monitor. As the program became computerized, He became LOHP's self-taught technology guru and webmaster.
As the center's principal editor, and coordinator of its publishing program, Darling edited and helped write dozens of labor publications that have served as resources for unions, workers, community organizations, health and legal professionals, and others.
Darling's colleagues note that, in addition to working "endless hours" at LOHP, he "always made himself available for volunteer and union work. As a shop steward and as an informal consultant to co-workers and campus unions, Gene's advice, assistance, and advocacy were the best available, bar none."
Darling is survived by a brother and a sister and their families. A memorial service was held Dec. 13.