Derby Reid


A memorial service for Derby Reid will be held Thursday, September 24 at 2:00 p.m. at Saskatoon Funeral Home (corner of 4th Avenue and 25th St.). Derby requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Kidney Foundation of Canada, Saskatchewan Branch, 1-2217 Hanselman Court, Saskatoon SK S7L 6A8. Derby's wish is that you sign your organ donor cards and that you tell your family that you have done this. Give the gift of life, as was given to Derby and his family!! The video stream of the service can be viewed at: Copy and paste the link into your web browser.

Obituary of Derby Reid

Derby Allan Reid, steadfast husband, supportive father, doting grandfather and uncle, stepped into the unknown on September 7, 2015, at 6:05 pm. Exhausted from dealing with the hurdles his body kept throwing into his path, he left us in the same manner he lived his life-with courage and dignity, close to his family. Derby was born on May 22, 1947 at Saskatoon. He grew up on the family farm near Maymont, as the only boy-the eldest of four children. Throughout his life, Derby took pride in his roots, describing himself as "a farm boy, not a city boy" and talking about how much love there was in the home. As a child and teenager, he felt free to delight his parents and sisters with crazy antics, sports achievements, and musical talents. He was taught to dance by his mother in the living room at the farm, and throughout his life he loved to jive, waltz, twist, and two-step (but hated the bird dance!). He went to elementary and high school in Maymont graduating in 1965. He then studied at the University of Saskatchewan, making many lifelong friends in the process. Derby obtained a B.A. in 1969 and a B.Ed. in 1970, and then began his teaching career. He loved working with students and enjoyed the camaraderie of his fellow teachers. He shared his enthusiasm for learning and his joy for life with students and staff in varied educational settings including Kindersley, Uranium City, Unity, then Colonsay, Allan, and Clavet, in the Saskatoon (East) School Division. He was passionate about English and History, and could recite poetry and talk about its context with his clear, distinctive speech which made you sit up, take notice, and listen. An avid sports enthusiast, you could always find Derby coaching, refereeing or playing sports. He grew up curling, playing hockey, ball, and later, played golf, as well (which family remember him blatantly cheating at). When his teaching career took him to Uranium City, he started a community recreational volleyball league for adults, curled, and played competitive fastball for the Rebels in the local league. In 1974 he was selected to play on the Uranium City All-Stars team, which became the Steelers, flying into and competing in communities throughout the north. In1975 Derby was part of the Steelers team that won the North West Territorial Championship and competed at the National Senior A Fastball Championships in Oshawa, On. Proud of the team's achievements and the many lifelong friendships he forged with members of the team, one of his directives for his memorial service was that the team should be honoured with a special pew reserved for them. In 1980, while still teaching, Derby and wife Jill, purchased land north of Elstow. Derby was excited to be a farmer again. Together, they became part of the community fabric. He was a member of the Lions Club serving as the International Student Exchange Coordinator. From 1981 to 1986, they also owned and operated Reid's Shop-Rite and the liquor outlet in Colonsay. Derby also served the Colonsay, Allan and Clavet area as a Justice of the Peace for the Province of Saskatchewan for 20 years, from 1994 to 2014, and was appointed as a Marriage Commissioner (to solemnize marriage within Saskatchewan) in May,1999. The last wedding he officiated at was on August 8, 2015. He also worked for the Saskatoon Funeral Home and as part of the "A Team" he developed a deep respect for the profession and those who worked with him. Even with teaching, farming, the grocery store, and other community work, Derby always had time for his family, and he and Jill and their two children enjoyed an idyllic life together. They travelled and camped, many times with other family. One of Derby's ideas of fun was to lay in wait with a wet towel as the kids left the shower, ready to snap them with it and get a yelp and a laugh out of them. One of Derby's joys was the companionship he enjoyed with the many dogs the family had on the farm. He was partial to the Pound Puppies, and also tolerated visits from the neighbours' dogs. His most recent canine companions were Lezat (the product of a sleepover his golden retriever Mimi had with a grand Pyrenee), and Jake (gifted from son Brennan when his work took him to Australia). Derby and wife Jill were a team. If you got one, you got the other, too. As a result, as Jill's work in the arts became more intensive, you would often find Derby providing support-not only to Jill, but to the organization and event also. He was an avid volunteer, actively participating in the rich cultural life that Jill's career offered to both of them. They travelled extensively, enjoyed unique experiences with extraordinary artists and managers and Derby was always interested and enthusiastic. Whether it was with a symphony conductor, here or at the London Philharmonic (didn't matter) or a Broadway choreographer, Derby made friendships that lasted. He liked a good Canadian beer and could chat about anything. In 1998 Derby received his first kidney transplant, with a second one following in 2006. During that time and in the years that followed, his health posed significant challenges for him and his family. As in all things, Derby's approach to these issues was to acknowledge their seriousness, but not to let them hold him back from his full enjoyment of life, especially spending time with his friends and family. He and Jill became an even more devoted couple, with spirit, love, devotion, and downright stubbornness bringing them through some very iffy, dark days. As a result of Derby's health, more and more of the farm work was contracted out and land rented to neighbours. He retired from teaching in 2005, after 35 years. He remained passionate about the success of his students, and was twice asked to return as a guest speaker at graduation ceremonies, where he turned heads and shocked some with his no-nonsense, practical advice for living. That was Derby. He told it like it was and he didn't suffer fools gladly. People gravitated to him for his humour, interest in others, and his respectful treatment of those he knew. Earlier this summer, Derby and Jill sold the Elstow farm and moved into Saskatoon. The hardest thing to do in selling the farm was to leave the beloved farm dogs with the new owners, but, like selling the farm itself, Derby knew it was the best thing he could do. The process of cleaning and moving brought back many old memories of the wonderful life Derby and Jill had enjoyed thus far, and they both had expectations of more years and adventures to come-some of them from their spectacular penthouse deck overlooking the river. Derby's body had other ideas-but he was fabulous to the very end. Derby is survived by his wife Jill; daughter Norrie (Todd Ferguson) of Saskatoon; son Brennan (Kimberly Purcell) of Brisbane, Australia; grandson Justin of Saskatoon; sister Maxine of Saskatoon; sister Susan (Alvin Rothenburger) of Radisson; sister-in-law Wendy Gerrity (Rob Johnson) of Augusta, Georgia; brother-in-law Barry Wood of Lebanon, Pennsylvania. He had a wonderful set of nieces and nephews who were with him on his journey including Bindi and Vince Wiernicki of Hawaii; Carly and Josh Rowsom of New York; Brianna and Alan Barber of Las Vegas; Bryce Wood of Prince George, B.C.; Cari and Jason Pankewich, Chad and Adena Rothenburger and Chase Rothenburger of Saskatoon; Cindy and Aaron Wilkie of Delisle and Amy Nichol and Bernardo Cavalcante of Toronto, plus a baker’s dozen of grand nieces and nephews. One of Jill's favourite stories is of the ring-necked geese Derby bought at an exotic animal sale for their excited kids. That afternoon he built a pen for the birds. However, the next morning, the pen was a shambles and the geese were not be seen (and haven't been to this day). Derby was not much of a carpenter, but he managed to build a family and a life that stood the test of many challenges. Instead of lumber, nails and shingles, he used friendship, laughter, and respect. Unlike the pen for the geese, Derby's legacy is lasting and will continue in the lives and memories of those he leaves behind. The family wishes to publicly acknowledge and thank the many caring and compassionate individuals who provided medical support. Our Transplant Unit, under the guidance of Dr. Ahmed Shoker, is the finest in the country. In addition, Dr. Myles Deutscher, Derby's G.P., displayed tremendous patience, kindness and professionalism throughout their medical journey together .
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