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Grace Y. Derrough


1926 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Grace Y. Derrough Obituary
Grace Y. Derrough Julia Graciela Yllescas Derrough (known to her friends as "Grace") of Novato, passed away peacefully at her home on April 22. She was born November 11, 1926 in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Daughter of Graciela and Francisco Yllescas, she was the first of five children. She overcame multiple childhood illnesses to be able to attend school, and was educated at Liceo Frances (Guatemala's French K-12 school) and attended university in Guatemala City, where she studied history. She came to San Francisco in 1954 for experimental knee surgery and met the love of her life, Joseph H. Derrough. She and Joe were married in July 1956. She had her first child, Joseph Frank Derrough, while living in San Francisco in 1958 and her second son, William Quesada Derrough in 1965, after they moved to Marin County. Grace worked throughout her pregnancies and thereafter in many different jobs including working for an insurance company in San Francisco, having her own licensed home daycare business at her home in Novato, and working in the public and private schools around Novato and Marin County both teaching and privately tutoring in doing what she loved most: working with, helping and guiding children. Her interests included flowers and gardening, dancing and music, politics and history, travel and food and wine. In fact, she traveled extensively, especially with her husband Joe, and visited more than 30 countries, reveling in meeting new peoples and experiencing their cultures, food and customs. She was a lively and vivacious woman who loved to be with her friends and family in social situations. She loved cooking and was an excellent cook, especially enjoying baking, and mastering classic American dishes like apple and cherry pie, meatloaf and, of course, her famous Thanksgiving dinners with perfect turkeys, mashed or scalloped potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, green beans or brussel sprouts, several salads and always multiple desserts, all made by her in her kitchen with no help. She was an unapologetic person of faith, and she held her Catholicism dear but also welcomed people of all faiths, especially others in Christ. In that regard, she was invited to and completed the Cursillo weekend in the 1980s, a very important event in her life where she connected both to her saviour and others in Christ. She was a tireless volunteer in helping those in need, including her steadfast work answering the call from organizations helping those in need by cooking for and visiting the elderly who were shut-in, providing food for families in mourning, taking in students who needed her assistance, chairing a Cub Scout pack, and many, many other efforts over the years. She was a committed member of prayer groups. She was the devoted wife of Joseph Hoge Derrough, loving mother of Joseph Frank Derrough, MD and William Quesada Derrough, loving step mother to Michael Moon and David Moon, loving mother-in-law to Katya Derrough, Alvaro Derrough-Salas, Denise Moon and Debbie Moon, loving grandmother to Katherine Hope Derrough, Alexander Luke Derrough, Joseph Ezekiel Derrough-Salas, John Paul Derrough-Salas, Monet Moon, Michelle Moon, Dayna Moon and Dustin Moon. She was a devoted sister and was a dedicated cousin and aunt to dozens of cousins, nieces and nephews and their children. In fact, Grace became the Matriarch of a large, extended family which spanned the Americas and parts of Europe: she always had a place for nieces and nephews, first cousins and second cousins, children of old friends and children of new friends, and even those who just needed a family. To her, to have a big extended family was the richest one could be, and she was happiest when she had her home filled with family and friends for celebrations. Grace became an American citizen in 1962, of which she was extremely proud. She always adored her home country of Guatemala, and yet was an extreme patriot for her adopted land. She was also fiercely proud of her Italian and Spanish heritage. She learned to drive at the age of 50, and she loved the freedom it gave her, allowing her to work, keep up with friends and to deliver food and visit those in need. She made friends wherever she went and, over the years, collected them from many walks of life, faiths, occupations, backgrounds and ages. Grace was famous for her hospitality - loving to throw dinner parties for six or open houses for 150, every time doing all the cooking (and cleaning!) herself, and always having a smile for everyone. She is survived by her husband and children, as well as her brother, Francisco Yllescas Quesada, M.D., and her sister, Ana Maria Illescas Quesada, having been predeceased by her sisters Virginia Yllescas New and Silvia Yllescas Laguardia. She is also survived by dozens of cousins, nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews, for whom she was like a grandmother. A visitation will be held at Keaton's Redwood Chapel in Novato on Sunday, April 26th at 4pm followed immediately by a Rosary Vigil at 6pm. The Funeral Mass will be held at Our Lady of Loretto Catholic Church in Novato on Monday, April 27th at 11am followed by burial at Valley Memorial Park in Novato. The family welcomes Grace's friends to all of these events as well as to a reception in the family home after the burial. Donations should be made in the memory of Grace Derrough to Helping Hands of Our Lady of Loretto Parish, Novato Or The Human Needs Center of Novato. Arrangements entrusted to Keaton's Redwood Chapel of Marin.
Published in Marin Independent Journal on Apr. 25, 2015
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