Robert George Derrick

Born: Fri., Mar. 16, 1923
Died: Wed., Dec. 28, 2011

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Robert George "Bob" Derrick passed away in Pendleton, on Wednesday, December 28, 2011, surrounded by his beloved family. He was 88 years old. Bob was born to George and Verna Derrick in 1923 in Gresham Oregon. Reared in the area, he graduated from Gresham Union High School and joined the 11th Airborne as a Paratrooper in 1942, earning the rank of Sergeant. After the war he worked for the Nehalem Logging Company as a purchasing agent in Portland. In 1948 he married Doris Elaine Bednar, a marriage that lasted 63 years. Three years later the couple was joined by a daughter, Sandra, and in 1953, a son, Donald. The following year Bob moved his family to the small community of Wamic, forty miles south of The Dalles, to manage a cattle ranch. During this time Bob purchased a Tri-Pacer airplane and frequently flew to Portland to pick up parts for the ranch. Before the children were in school, the family spent the winter traveling in Arizona, Mexico and California. In 1962, Bob moved his family to Pendleton, where he worked for Pendleton Grain Growers, eventually managing the fertilizer department. He retired in 1978, but at the age of fifty-five he was totally bored, so he created a job for himself with the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife, managing McKay Refuge. Many of the improvements made at the refuge were his idea. In 1987 he retired from Fish and Wildlife, but continued volunteering his time until 2000. Bob was an avid sportsman who loved the outdoors; hunting, fishing, flying, spelunking, restoring old cars, gardening, beekeeping, and woodcutting. Throughout his life, he and Doris traveled extensively, visiting all fifty states, much of Canada and Mexico, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. The trip he enjoyed the most was the Siberian Railroad trek from Russia to Mongolia and then by plane to China. In 2000 Robert's traveling days were over when he suffered a stroke. His beloved "Dodie" continued to care for him for the next ten years. Robert is survived by his wife Doris, of Pendleton, a brother Jack of Portland, daughter, Sandra Robert Serrano of Prineville, son, Donald Gayle Derrick of Lake Havasu, Arizona, four grandchildren, five great grandchildren and Mitzy, his beloved toy poodle. Disposition was by cremation, and his cremains, will be inurned in the Urn Garden at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Gresham, Oregon. A private family farewell will be held in Portland on December 31st. For those who wish, memorial contributions may be made to P.A.W.S., Pendleton Animal Welfare Shelter, P.O. Box 1876, Pendleton, OR 97801. Sign the guestbook or send condolences online at Burns Mortuary of Pendleton handled arrangements.

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