Obituaries » David N. Derby
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A funeral service will be held at Joldersma & Klein Funeral Home on Monday, August 27, 2018 at 1:00 PM. The Rev. James Dyke will officiate. Interment with military honors will follow at Mt. Ever-Rest Memorial Park – South. Memorial contributions may be made to Veterans of Foreign Wars or University of Michigan Annual Fund, c/o the funeral home.
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Age 100, passed away on August 21, 2018 in Jackson Heights, New York. David was born in Benton Harbor, Michigan on February 27, 1918, the son of the late Glenwood Robert and Hazel Bell (Sheffield) Derby. In addition to his parents he was also preceded in death by his brother, Dr. Stanley K. Derby. David served in Patton’s 3rd Army during World War II, in the 333rd Engineers Special Services Regiment and was an expert marksman and interpreter. He earned two bronze battle stars, three overseas service bars and victory and good conduct medals. A notable football star as quarterback at Benton Harbor High School, David was All State and was a freshman halfback in 1939 at the University of Michigan. He continued to closely follow and enjoy U of M sports throughout his entire life. An avid duplicate bridge player, he was Individual Champion of the 1996 South Bend Hall of Fame Bridge Tournament. David was a gifted amateur pianist. He loved animals and more than once rescued injured wildlife. He had a special interest in and knowledge about the American Civil War which his great-grandfather had served in and in Viking history because of his grandfather, Gustav who had emigrated from Sweden. David had his own machine shop early in his career and later traveled extensively in the United States as a plant and regional manager, sometimes designing equipment when the need arose. Mr. Derby is survived by his two daughters, Diana Derby Chapin of Jackson Heights, New York and Beverly Derby of Landers, California; two grandsons, James Derby Chapin of Jackson Heights, New York and David Sheffield Derby of Burlington, Massachusetts; two great-grandchildren, Malcolm Andrew Chapin and Althea Rose Chapin; and a niece and nephew, Linda Monroe of South Bend, Indiana and Kenn Derby of Silver Spring, Maryland.