Doris Derrick



April 24, 1926 — April 23, 2019

Doris Elaine Derrick (Dodie to her beloved Bob) was born to Walter and Ida Bednar on April 24, 1926, in Gresham, Oregon. After high school, she worked summers, as a welder, to put herself through the University of Oregon. When she spoke of those days, she said, “I earned a $1.20 an hour, the hard way, welding in black, poorly ventilated hulls of Liberty ships.” After graduation, on June 26, 1948, she married Robert Derrick and settled in a home that Bob and his father had built.

Doris taught English and Latin at Grant High School in Portland for three years, until a daughter, Sandra, and later a son, Donald, were born. In 1954 the family moved to Wamic, Oregon, where Bob managed the W-Y Ranches, and Doris cooked for the crew. In 1962 the family relocated to Pendleton, Oregon, truly home to both of them, where Doris resumed her teaching career at BMCC and earned her M.A. from Eastern Oregon University.

After retirement Doris volunteered for the Historical Society, the Bargain Counter, Friends of the Library, and picked up litter at McKay Refuge.

Doris’s pastimes included digging clams, hunting mushrooms, wood cutting, tending her flower garden, reading and traveling with Bob. Their favorite trips were to Machu Picchu, the Serengeti Wildlife Refuge, the steppes of Mongolia, and a trip on the Siberian Railroad. While traveling was a unique experience, for Doris, time with her family was her greatest joy.

In 2000 Bob suffered a stroke and Doris became his caregiver until he passed away in 2011.

She often said, “We had a good love story before the stroke, but it was a great love story after.” In 2013 Doris and her feisty poodle Mitzy moved to Prineville, Oregon, to be close to family. Doris passed away on April 23. During her last days she never failed to tell her visitors, “I have had a wonderful life!”

Doris is survived by Sandy (Robert) Serrano of Prineville, Oregon; Don (Gayle) Derrick of Lake Havasu City, Arizona, and Pendleton, Oregon; grandchildren Angela (Jason) Zappe, Garrett (Sarah) Serrano, Kelcey (Lindsey) Derrick, and Kotey Derrick; and eight great-grandchildren.

At their request, Doris and Bob’s ashes were co-mingled and inurned at the Gresham Cemetery. A family farewell will be held this summer.

Contributions may be made to Pendleton Animal Welfare Shelter, or the BMCCFoundation.

Condolences and reminiscences may be sent to

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