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County loses a quiet icon

December 31, 2012
Darvie McAbee, age 90, passed away in his humble home north of Three Mile on Saturday. He was a waif, a little guy few of us had the privilege to know. He didn't draw attention to himself, though he had claim to fame. Many of us older folks grew up with him, and didn't even know it.

Can't find his picture on the web, scant mention of his name. He isn't from here, but on passing through a few times with his more famous friends, he saw Bonners Ferry as a special place. He stopped running here ... bought a house and made it home.

He was with a big guy named Dan Blocker when he passed through for the first time, both bound for Canada on a search for investment properties. Darvie, a guitar, banjo and fiddle virtuoso from South Carolina, looked around, and said "I like this place."

He stayed here, and found home.

He traveled south in May, '72 to attend his good friend Dan's funeral, and he joined the nation in bidding farewell to the beloved "Bonanza" icon. They'd both been with the show since it first aired in 1959. Dan the beloved star, Darvie a background man.

Darvie could be seen at times in the background, most often as one of the ubiquitous musicians adding to the scene, but never the focus. Many of the songs heard in the background that gave the show so much character featured Darvie's uncredited picking.

Little Joe Michael Landon came to Boundary County a time or two, so did Ben Cartwright ... this one of the few places people of such note could come and visit an old friend and not be overwhelmed by fans.

Darvie loved that about this place.

Funeral Services for Darvie McAbee will be held at 11 a.m. January 5, at the Bonners Ferry Funeral Home, 6485 Harrison Street, with interment in the Washington State Veterans Cemetery in Medical Lake, Washington.
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