To continue the memorialization of Derek on this two-year anniversary of his death, I am posting below the fold the entries from his online funeral guestbook. Aside from removing last names and other identifiable information, they are included here as originally written.
Donna, Bob, and family.
I am sorry about the loss of your son and brother. HE IS W/ God now..
He made me a laugh and lot and I am Thankful I got to spend his last day with him, and his loved one’s .He was an awesome person. I will never forget him. Love Jan
Dear Mom & Dad & kids,
I’m so very, very sorry, I still can’t believe you lost Derek. He was such a sweetheart and such a joy. I’m still in shock and don’t really know what to say right now. I’m just so sad. I’m thinking of you all and love you all and I have you and Derek in my prayers. Always, Leslie
Bob, Donna and Family…
My thoughts are with you during your time of sorrow. Derek, with his wonderful smile will always be in my heart and memory. Take comfort in knowing that Derek is in God’s loving presence now and forever.
Our deepest condolences to the family from the California side of the family, especially cousin Debby and Uncle Dick.
Our condolences to your family . Derek was a great friend when we were growing up!Even though we had not spoken to each other in years I always thought of him whenever I saw an 86 Monte, a HUGE boombox and of course any song from Michael Jackson! He is in our prayers.
Mark, Ellie, Ty, and Deana
My dearest Derek,
I know that I have already left my message, but I just miss you so much already. I LOVE you and pray for you always…..
My love, thoughts, and prayers are with you all during your time of loss. Derek’s bright, shining heart touched the lives of so many during his short time here. He will continue live in the hearts of all who knew him. Love and blessings to each of you, Kim
Fill not your hearts with pain and sorrow,
but remember me in every tomorrow.
Remember the joy, the laughter, and the smiles.
I’ve only gone to rest a little while.
Although my leaving causes pain and grief,
my going has eased my hurt and given me relief.
So dry your eyes and remember me,
not as I am now, but as I used to be,
because I will remember you all and look on with a smile.
Understand, in your hearts, I’ve only gone to rest a little while.
As long as I have the love of each of you,
I can live my life in the hearts of all of you.
Derek was more then Just a cousin, he was a dear freind and will be missied. He will be rememberd in our prayers.
Derek was such a great personality. When we first met him he had never travelled a dirt road before, but he travelled one to get here. We picked on him as “City Boy” and introduced him to all the farm critters we could. Derek’s quick wit or dead-pan response to some farm things kept us laughing. We loved Derek for the bright, caring young man he was. He will be so very missed. Our prayeres are with those of us let behind who feel the pain of his leaving.
Homer & Helen
Goodbye my friend, you will be sorely missed. Derek, your scathing wit, quick intellect, warmth and loyalty will stay with me. But it is your unconquerable optimism, even in the face of death, that will stand as an example for me.
I love you, jen
My Dearest Cousin Derek,
You have touched so many lives with your charm, affection and love. You were a man of independence, intelligence and achievements and you managed to top all your fine qualities with the most gorgeous priceless smile that will forever be in our fond memories. God only takes the best! In an exchange for taking your pain and suffering away, he received a perfect ten-(10) human being. A real angel! God Bless You Derek! You will always be in our hearts forever.
I MISS YOU WITH ALL MY HEART.YOU ARE ONE OF THE NICEST NEPHEW’S THERE ARE.I HAVE KNOWN YOU ALL YOUR LIFE AND LOVED YOU ALL YOUR LIFE.I WILL MISS YOUR WITTY AND LOVEING WAYS.YOU WILL BE IN MY HEAT FOREVER.
LOVE, AUNT JOAN [BE WITH GOD NOW]
Sincere condolences to the family.
BOB ,DONNA AND FAMILY
I’M AM SO SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS..DEREK WAS TRULY A GOOD PERSON. I KNEW IT FROM THE TIME I MET HIM. GOOD PEOPLE ARE HARD TO FIND ,AND SOMETIMES THE LORD NEEDS SOME OF THE GOOD ONES.
TAKE CARE ,HE IS AT PEACE NOW
P.S I REMEMBER HE ALWAYS HAD A GREAT BIG SMILE ON HIS FACE.
” BLESS YOU ALL”
Derek – As you take your journey towards the heavens returning to the loving embrace of God’s open arms, please look below and see how deeply you are loved. Hear our prayers, see our sorrow, know our loss. Listen to our memories and know how much you meant to us, how you touched our hearts and enriched our lives during your stay here on earth. We are left behind comforted solely by the memories you’ve given us. Your smile, your laughter, your sense of spirit and kindness, your humor, your endless talents, your zest for life and your love. Derek, please know that even though you are no longer here in body, you will always and forever be here in our lives safely protected deep within our hearts and souls.
Thank you Derek for enriching my life with your presence. And…
Thank you God for safely guiding Derek back home into your loving embrace.
Love til Eternity
Derek – I can’t put into words how much you’ll be missed. You’ve been a very important part of my life and my family for the last eight years. I’m sorry that the last few years have been so difficult for you. You have suffered great sorrows, but now your suffering is over. Behold the foothills of new lands, my friend, for now your journey is through. It’s time for you to finally rest. I miss you so, and I love you.
Bob, Donna & Famiily – I am so glad that you were able to share this last month with Derek. I know it meant so much to him to be surrounded by your unconditional love. You are true examples of what family is about. My heart goes out to all of you. Please know that Derek was happy here in Texas; his life was rich and full and rare. Yet I know he’s happy to finally be home. I love all of you and will always be here for you.
To my dear friend Derek,
Although it has been many years since we’ve last seen each other, the years do not erase fun times and happy memories. I remember as a little girl, you were my brother’s best friend and I thought you were the most handsome boy that I had ever seen. You probably never knew that. As we grew up, you always were an important part of my life, my friend. Two proms, your family parties, the “Bad” dance, neighborhood good times, Joey’s wedding and lots of laughter. You knicknamed my grandmother “Gamblin’ Gram” and my mother,the “Bingo Babe”. How we laughed at that. When I see a Monte Carlo, I remember you. When I hear loud music or certain songs, I remember you. I always thought that our paths would cross again, but not like this. My heart is filled with sadness now that you have gone. Good bye my friend. I will remember you with love.
Aunt Audrey & I will always love and remember you as the skinny nephew that had to eat Burger King every day. When we got our first real computer (a 286) you were at the house day & night working on that speedie 286. You & I learned together. I will never forget that!
Bob, Donna & Family,
My thoughts and prayers are with all of you as you grieve the loss of the youngest member of your family, Derek. He was a wonderful person who will remain in our hearts forever. God Bless all of you. Carolyn & Family
Bob,Donna and family, So sorry to hear of your loss, of Derek. You are all in our prayer’s and in our heart’s.
I heard God really picked a great one this time. But much to young. amen
John & Marcia
sorry to hear of your loss.
Derek, I don’t know where to begin to tell you how much you will truly be missed. There are so many fond memories of you. You will always and forever be in my heart my dear loving cousin. I love you so, and may you rest in peace my dear friend and cousin. I love you so very much!
P.S. Please hear my every prayer I pray to you… I want you to know that although you are not here with us any longer, you will always be in my heart…. forever!
I love you!
My heart is truly broken today. Derek, I have loved you for as long as I can remember and you have made my life so much happier just by the fact that you were in in. I will miss you more than you can know and you will be in my heart forever.
Although I am not there in person my prayers and thoughts are with all of you. Derek was a “brother” to me for a long time. I have many cherised memories of him. He was loved by many.
My uncle Derek will never be forgotten. He was an always will be remembered and loved. I wish everyone could have known him like my family knew him, an then grew to love him at least half as much as we love him. I love you Uncle Derek,always an forever,RIP.
Uncle Derek-you are going to be truly missed by everyone. You were always in our prayers and will be forever more. I love you so much. P.S. I wont forget about your rose this time
Gary Jr. & Michele