Eugene “Gene” Derr passed away surrounded by love, at the Red Deer Regional Hospital on December 23, 2012.
Gene was born February 3, 1929 in Duchess, Alberta, one of eleven children to Emma and Edward Derr and grew up on their family farm south of Gadsby. In his early twenties he worked Seismic and during this time he met the love of his life, Darlene. They were married on November 3, 1956. That same year they purchased the Elhorn place south of Botha and together took up farming on their small chunk of paradise. To this union two children were born, Cindy and Shaun. In the early seventies Gene took employment with the Town of Stettler and during that time developed many lasting friendships. Gene and Darlene retired to Stettler in 2000.
Gene was a loving husband and father, a kind and gentle spirit who never spoke harshly to or of anyone and would say “hello” to perfect strangers he would pass on the street. He loved the farm life, camping and fishing and happy times with family and friends. He shared a deep love of vintage John Deere Tractors with his son and they scoured the country-side for farm sales in search of a good deal.
He especially loved to be near his three grandsons Joe, Josh and Jordan Huraj and cherished the many things they could always find to do together. Grampa always had the “perfect job” that needed their help.
Gene loved Country Music and took pride and great enjoyment in listening to both his children sing. He was their biggest fan. He took part in Stettler’s Country Music Jamboree for many years, singing, playing guitar and yodelling.
It is difficult to sum up 83 years of living, but Gene had a wonderful life filled with people who loved him and will very much miss his gentle way.
He leaves to mourn his loss his loving wife of 56 years Darlene; his son Shaun and daughter Cindy Liebe (Gerd); grandsons Jordan Huraj, Joshua Huraj (Melissa Roste) and Jozef Huraj (Leanne Kinsey and great grandchildren Denver and Zoe); step grandson Dylan Liebe and step granddaughter Kayla Liebe. Gene is also survived by sisters: Clara Derr of Stettler, Edna Heisz of Stettler, Beatrice Selinger of Gadsby, Lola Stewart of Erskine, Laura Derr and Grant Thomas of Abbotsford, BC, Carol Myckan and Orest of St. Albert; many, many more relatives and dear friends. He was predeceased by his parents Emma and Edward Derr; his sister Kathleen; brothers Benny, Les and Edward.
Graveside services were held at Woodland Cemetery, Botha, Alberta on Saturday, January 5, 2013 at 11:00 AM with Shaun Derr, Jozef Huraj, Joshua Huraj, Gerd Liebe, Bill Thibault and Ken Thibault as Pallbearers. Family and friends gathered in the Royal Canadian Legion Hall for an afternoon of sharing stories and fellowship with a luncheon by Teresa’s Catering.
Memorial donations may be made to the Alberta Heart and Stroke Foundation, c/o Stettler Funeral Home, Box 1780, Stettler, Alberta T0C 2L0 or charity of choice.
Condolences may be sent to the family at