Gary, son of Bert and Margaret (nee Harilstad) Derdall, and eldest brother of Joanne (Dale Clark) and Karen (Ray Cole) was raised on the farm and in the town of Outlook. He went on to receive his BA in Chemistry at the University of Saskatchewan and subsequently complete his PhD in Chemistry at McGill University. After many years in academia, Gary traded in his books for power tools and his laboratory for the construction site. It was several years later that he decided to return to academia and obtain his MBA from York University, which provided him with the business expertise to apply his scientific knowledge.
It was around this time that he met his wife Brenda (nee Cummine), with whom he would be celebrating 40 years of marriage this July. Together they raised three beautiful children, Kirstin (Michael Pirot), Colin, and Erik. And despite having a young and busy family, as well as a wife with a busy nursing career, Gary was very successful professionally and held such prominent positions as Director of Innovation and Diversification with the Potash Corp of Saskatchewan, was a member of the Crown Investments Board and subsequently became the Western Regional Director of the National Research Council. During this time he also authored no less than eight US patents in the area of chemical fertilization. He was so committed to his work that his children can fondly remember various scientific experiments being conducted in his make-shift lab in the basement.
And he was no less committed to his family. Later in life he took on consultancy work, which allowed him to spend more time with his family. His favorite past time was talking current events or cars over a cup of coffee with family and friends. In his retirement, he took great pleasure in writing letters praising or criticizing bureaucrats and politicians.
Gary’s professional successes can be attributed to his brilliant mind, his integrity and his tenacity. His personal successes, however, are the result of the kindness, thoughtfulness and generosity he showed family and friends. It was this profound love that he shared with his family that surrounded him with peace and joy as he left this earth.
The family wishes to thank the nurses from Unit 6200 at Royal University Hospital for their compassionate care during this difficult time for Gary and our family.
A service to celebrate Gary’s life will be held on Sunday, June 10, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. at the chapel of the Saskatoon Funeral Home.
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