SSI Industry Hall of Famer Charlie Darsch Dies At 92

Darsch’s lifelong love of technology and security systems left an indelible mark on the industry he dedicated himself to for decades.

SSI Industry Hall of Famer Charlie Darsch Dies At 92

Charlie Darsch and his wife Ellen at a Masschusetts Systems Contractors Association meeting about 10 years ago.

MARLBOROUGH, Mass. — Charlie Darsch Jr., 2007 SSI Industry Hall of Famer and longtime System Sensor director of corporate relations, died Sunday at 92, leaving behind a legacy that few in the security solutions industry can match.

Darsch, the former resident of Sudbury, Mass., died with his family by his side, ending a life that began Oct. 14, 1930 in Plymouth, Mass., to Charles George Darsch Sr. and Wanda Borgatti. Darsch Jr. is predeceased by his sister, Patricia Haslam, and is survived by his wife of 23 years, Ellen (Carruthers) Darsch.

He was a 1948 graduate of Plymouth High School and he earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Lowell Technical Institute, now UMass Lowell, and took graduate courses at Northeastern University and MIT.

Davis Marketing Group President Ron Davis, who is also SSI’s “What’s the Big Idea?” columnist and contributing market analyst, says he’s known about his fellow SSI Industry Hall of Famer’s death for a few days “and I’m still not quite over the shock.”

“I knew Charlie for over 40 years, enjoyed his company at meetings, conventions and other industry events. The industry and all of his friends have lost a class act,” says Davis.

More About Darsch’s Impact on the Security Industry

According to his obituary in The Boston Globe, Darsch played hockey as a defenseman and right wing and lacrosse in high school and college. He also served in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Army Reserve Military Police during the Korean War.

Darsch served as an altar boy, shined and repaired shoes, delivered newspapers and worked in a mill for his father. While in college, his summer job was driving a truck delivering Pepsi and Budweiser to Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha’s Vineyard accounts.

His first job out of college was as a sales engineer for Pollak Corp. in Dorchester, Mass., manufacturing aircraft and automotive controls before he was promoted to sales director for the company. Later, he started his own alarm installation company, Minuteman Security in Hingham, Mass.

 

Darsch’s start in the electronic security profession came after a neighbor suffered what’s described in his obituary as “an intrusion gone wrong.”

“He realized technology could provide earlier detection and save lives,” the obituary says. “This was the beginning of Charlie’s passion for technology and safety/security systems.”

Darsch later worked for a military think tank at Aerospace Research Inc. which then became Advisor Research and later Aritech, a major worldwide manufacturer of safety and security technology. Charlie was instrumental in helping others to design intelligent motion sensors and bring them to market.

He remained within the security industry until retirement from Aritech, Honeywell and fire alarm sensor manufacturer System Sensor. Darsch earned many industry achievement awards for leadership throughout his career from several life safety association and continued to assist many companies and individuals with his expertise and counsel all over the world after his retirement.

He continued working with the industry in educating people on the importance of what they do in saving lives and had a love of the history of technology as a member of the ESA Historical Committee.

Visitation for Darsch is scheduled for Sunday, July 9 from 2 to 5 p.m. at Duckett Funeral Home of J.S. Waterman & Sons, 656 Boston Post Road, Sudbury, Mass. His funeral Mass will be held at Saint Michael Parish, 23 Manning St., Hudson, Mass., at 9 a.m. on Monday, July 10. A burial of ashes will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Darsch’s memory.

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About the Author

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Craig MacCormack is a veteran journalist who joined Security Sales & Integration in June 2023 as digital editor. He covered AV, IT and security with SSI's sister publication, Commercial Integrator, from January 2011 to June 2021.

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One response to “SSI Industry Hall of Famer Charlie Darsch Dies At 92”

  1. Jason Knott says:

    So sad. A legend. Nicest man on earth.

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