Longtime Funny River resident Earl Robert Derry died Thursday, April 26, 2007, at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna. He was 84.
Memorial services will be held at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Soldotna at a later date. Father Richard Tero will officiate. Further services will be held at his favorite hunting grounds in Michigan.
Mr. Derry was born Oct. 31, 1923, to Ernest and Hattie (Smith) Derry in Ithaca, Mich. He attended Michigan State University for two years. He was there on a dual football and baseball scholarship. When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, every kid on his team quit college and joined the service.
He served in the U.S. Army with the “Big Red One,” 1st Infantry Division from Omaha Beach to the end of the Nazi occupied territory. Later, he was honorably discharged.
Earl was the owner and operator of Patty’s Irish Pub in North Miami Beach for more than 30 years. He was a Teamsters Organizer from 1956 until he died. He was a member of the Catholic church. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and baseball.
“Earl was always a true friend. ‘Duty, honor, country and loyalty’ was his motto. Earl also said, ‘Always vigil and the only way to replenish the tree of liberty was with the blood of patriots and tyrants,’” his family said.
Mr. Derry is survived by his children, Erlene, Nancy, Debra, Jennifer and Lori and Craig of Michigan, Rick of Oregon and Rocky and Jeff of Soldotna; brother, Jack of Michigan; numerous grand children, nieces, nephews and long time friends.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to the Earl Derry Memorial Fund, 37095 Nerka Court, Soldotna, AK 99669.
Arrangements were by Peninsula Memorial Chapel in Kenai.
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