Obituary: Dennis A. Derr, 79

by | Jan 12, 2024

Raised in EG, he was a sailor at heart, Dennis loved everything about boats

Dennis A. Derr, 79, of North Kingstown passed away peacefully on January 6. He was the eldest son of the late Harry and Rosanna (Northup) Derr. He leaves behind his beloved wife, Marilyn (Razee) Derr, and children, Jessica Millette of North Kingstown and her husband Matthew, and Michael Derr of North Kingstown and his wife Elysabeth. He was the proud grandfather of Theodora Derr, Katelyn Millette and Joshua Millette. He was brother to Judy Ford, Betsy Derr and Jason Derr. He was predeceased by his brother Larry Derr.

Dennis was raised in East Greenwich, where he loved playing around the waterfront as a child. Some of his fondest memories were going out shellfishing with his grandfather Everett Northup. His love of the water led to many wonderful memories on his own boats with his family on Narragansett Bay. A sailor at heart, Dennis loved everything about boats. One of his favorite hobbies was working on an old boat to make it function better and look beautiful. In fact, he seemed just as happy to be under a boat scraping off bottom paint as he was to be at the helm sailing on a beautiful day.

Following in his grandfather’s footsteps, Dennis developed a natural curiosity toward the electrical trade at a young age. He was always fascinated by electricity and truly loved the challenge of solving a problem and brightening (pun intended) someone’s day. Although he was an electrician, he had a wealth of knowledge in all trades and could always be relied on when something inevitably broke and needed repair. Dennis was lucky to have a profession that never felt like a job to him.

Dennis met the love of his life, Marilyn, while working at Hathaway’s Records in East Greenwich over 55 years ago. They have been together ever since. In addition to raising their children, they shared countless wonderful memories throughout the decades. They enjoyed going on family road trips, sailing on their boat “Drifter” and spending time together at Lake Mishnock. However, their greatest joy in recent years was watching their grandchildren grow up.

Dennis will be remembered as a wonderful husband, father and grandfather. We will miss his loving personality, positive attitude, sense of humor and good nature. He was truly a great family man.

Fair winds and following seas, Dad. We love you.   

Funeral service Saturday January 20th at 11:00 am in the Hill Funeral Home, 822 Main St., East Greenwich. Burial will be in Quidnessett Memorial Cemetery, North Kingstown. Visitation will be held prior to the service from 10:00 am – 11:00 am. The family wishes to thank the staff at Kent Hospital for their care and compassion. Please consider making a donation to the Kent Hospital Foundation in lieu of flowers.

You can leave an online condolence at the Hill Funeral Home website HERE.

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EG News Obituary Policy: We post obituaries relevant to our readers. If you would like to share an obituary, send it to [email protected]. Put “obituary” in the subject line. 

Posted 1/12/24

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Bruce Mastracchio
Bruce Mastracchio
January 13, 2024 7:43 am

Another piece of the fabric of old East Greenwich. Rest in Peace , Dennis. Condolences to the Derr Family.


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