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Home arrow News arrow News of Record arrow Obituary: Robert V. Derrick

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Obituary: Robert V. Derrick

Robert V. Derrick, 82, a lifelong Baker City resident, died Oct. 12, 2006, at Settler's Park.

A celebration of life service will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St. Everyone is invited to a reception afterward at Quail Ridge Golf Course.

A fourth-generation Oregonian, Bob was born on June 30, 1924, at Baker City to Delbert and Tina Worsham Derrick.

At an early age, Bob experienced life in nearby logging camps during the Depression era. Raised and educated in Baker City, he was a member of the 1941 undefeated Baker Bulldogs championship basketball team.

After graduating from high school, he joined the U.S. Navy, After training as a radioman at Texas A & M University, he joined the 7th Fleet in the South Pacific.

Serving aboard both destroyers and destroyer escorts, he was involved in many of the major naval battles of the Solomon Islands Campaign. Later, at Okinawa, he and his ship along with the rest of the invasion fleet suffered through the last-ditch efforts of the Japanese kamikaze attacks.

Near the end of the war, Bob and his radio crews were on the beach at Iwo Jima in support of the Marine landing force as the island was secured in one of the most bitterly fought battles of World War II. Attaining the rank of chief petty officer in 1945, he returned to his beloved Baker City at war's end.

Soon after returning home he met the love of his life. He married Alladyne Metcalf on March 10, 1946. Bob soon found himself involved in community affairs. He was a member of the American Legion, the Legion's traveling basketball team, the Drum and Bugle Corps and the Baker Volunteer Fire Department.

Joining with many of his fellow Navy veterans, a local Naval Reserve unit was formed. In 1950, during the Korean conflict, the unit was activated and Bob and his fellow reservists returned to active duty.

Bob went to work for Builder's Supply, a retail/wholesale building materials business where he became an expert glazier. He later worked as a public relations officer for California Pacific Utilities (OTEC's predecessor). In 1954, he went to work for Lew Bros. Tire Service, becoming a minority partner with Pleas Brown. He worked there until his retirement in 1985.

Bob was a member of the Baker Masonic Lodge, the Baker Valley Scottish Rite, Baker Shrine Club and a 50-year member of the Baker Elks Lodge. He served three separate terms as president of the Shrine Club and was game coordinator for the Shrine East-West All-Star Football Game for more than 20 years.

He was also a major driving force behind the volunteer effort that paid for and constructed the east-side bleachers at Bulldog Memorial Stadium. Bob was an avid lifelong supporter of Baker youth athletics.

A golfer, hunter, angler and all-around outdoor enthusiast, he thoroughly enjoyed his cabin and lake near upper Rock Creek where he and Alladyne shared unforgettable fellowship with many close, dear friends and family members.

Bob viewed each day as a gift and an opportunity to bring happiness to those around him, his family said.

"He was a credit to his country, his community, his family and himself," his family said. "He will be missed."

He was preceded in death by his wife, Alladyne; his brother, Cecil; and his sister, Pansy Derrick Lewis.

Survivors include his son and daughter-in-law, Larry and Debra Derrick of Jamaica; grandchildren, Kimi Carlson, Michael Derrick, Bill Derrick and Joe Derrick; nephew, Wayne Lewis, and his wife, Gloria; three great-grandsons; and three generations of nieces, nephews and cousins.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to the Shriners Hospital for Children through Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.

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