John Andrew Derks(1930 - 2014)

photoJohn Andrew Derks, of Chandler, AZ passed January 12, 2014 caused by complications from Multiple Myeloma. He was born into a family of 10 children February 6, 1930 on a farm outside Clyde, Missouri to John Henry Derks and Veronica Klaas Derks. In 1948, he graduated a successful student athlete from St. Benedict High School and enlisted in the Army where he served 5 years. In 1951, while returning from training in Texas to Northern Michigan, where he was stationed as part of the United States Army St. Lawrence Seaway security detail during the Korean War, he serendipitously sat next to June Marie Derks, of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario on "the back of a bus". They married in 1953 and began their 58-year partnership, living for significant periods of time in Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, California, Illinois, Indiana and, finally, in Arizona. John Derks joined General Motors Buick Division in 1953 and served in various management roles during his 22 year career and then served as Service Manager for several Chicagoland Buick dealerships in the ensuing 15 years. He was a dedicated Catholic and devoted husband, father and professional who believed deeply in loving his family, hard work and enjoying friends and life. He served as primary care giver for his wife June for her 38 year battle with Multiple Sclerosis. John is survived by his children, Cheryl, Judy Chamberlain (Mike) and Steve (Laura) and his grandchildren Ben, Jordan, Grace, Jack and Nora as well as his sisters, Mary Walter of St. Joe, Missouri, Esther Schmidt of Atlanta, Georgia, and his brothers Vincent Derks of Omaha, Nebraska and Donald Derks of Hobson, Montana. He was preceded in death by his wife June and his siblings Marguerite, Raymond, Leona, Marcella and Joseph. A visitation will be held Thursday, January 16th at 4 p.m. with a Prayer Service beginning at 4:30 p.m. at Messinger Mortuary, 7601 E. Indian School Road, Scottsdale, AZ. A reception will immediately follow the service. In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution honoring John to Catholic Charities, , or your favorite charitable organization. Please send online condolences to the Derks family at

Funeral Home

Messinger Mortuaries
7601 E. Indian School Road Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication on Jan. 14, 2014