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James Edward Derrick

James Edward Derrick Obituary
James Edward Derrick

Visalia - James E Derrick passed away peacefully on May 6, 2020 at his home in Visalia, California. He was 87 years old. He was born in Blue Creek, West Virginia to William W Derrick and Hester Mae Derrick.

Jim followed in his 5 older brothers' footsteps by joining the US military, serving over 20 years in the US Army Signal Corps and rising early to the level of Command Sergeant Major (E-9).

Early in his military career he served as a Radio Repair Technician in Berlin, Germany where he met and married his first wife Gertrude (Judy) Derrick. Jim and Judy had two children, Carmen Derrick Smith and William R Derrick.

While in the US Army, Jim supervised the construction of communication sites in the US, Africa, Turkey, Viet Nam and Iran. He served as Command Sergeant Major at the Army War College in Carlisle, PA, The Army Signal School at Fort Monmouth, NJ, in Viet Nam, and in Iran. Jim earned several awards including Occupation Medal (Germany), Humane Action Medal w/Berlin Airlift Device, National Defense Medal w/ Oak Leaf Cluster, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, and Vietnam Counteroffensive Medal.

Near the end of his military career, Jim served as the Sergeant Major and Station Chief of the US Army STRATCOM Facility in Tehran, Iran where he met and married his second wife, Sadie Derrick. Sadie and Jim had two children, James Edward Derrick II and Janette Derrick Bergantz.

Jim went on to a successful commercial career founding Derrick Construction, an electrical contracting business that installed telecommunications sites throughout the US.

Jim was a former Master Mason raised at Fort Leavenworth, KS on August 31, 1961

A private service will be held at his interment at Arlington National Cemetery.

Jim is survived by his wife Sadie Derrick, his daughters Carmen Derrick Smith and Janette Derrick Bergantz, his sons William R Derrick and James Edward Derrick II, his grandchildren John Smyser, Tara Smyser, Kelly Duck, Heather Yoder, Shane Derrick, Andrea Derrick, Derrick Bergantz, Zoee Bergantz, Sadee Bergantz, and James Edward Derrick III, and his great-grandchildren Tyler Smyser, Codie Smyser, Landen Smyser, Riley Smyser, Harrison Duck, and Erika Smyser.

Remembrances may be made to St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church, P.O. Box 367, Yettem, CA 93670, or to a . Arrangements by Sterling & Smith Funeral Home.
Published in Visalia Times-Delta & Tulare Advance-Register from May 15 to May 18, 2020
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