Vera Christel Derrick, 99, passed away on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2014. Christel was born Oct. 22, 1914, at the VanEtten family home in Payette, Idaho, to Millie May VanEtten Huff and Walter C. Huff.
Soon afterward she moved to Cascade with her parents and lived on the family ranch. She continued to live there with her grandparents, Seymore Blair and Ida Ellen VanEtten, after her mother’s death in 1916 when Christel was just 2 years old. She attended school in Cascade and later in Fruitland where she graduated from high school in 1934. She worked in the apple orchards and packing house and that is where she met her future husband, Harold (Shorty) Derrick.
They were married at Payette in 1936 and lived for a time in Fruitland and Weiser before moving to the Little Salmon River in 1940. They lived in a logging camp at Hazard Creek until they moved to the White Bird Ridge Ranch near Pollock in the fall of 1941. That is where she was to live the next 16 years of her life, working to support all the activities of a “ranch wife” and mother. Hard work, but life was good and she was happy there. It’s where they raised their three children, Wayne, Bob and LaVerne.
She lived in numerous places after moving from the ranch, but mostly in the Salmon River area for close to 74 years. She and Shorty built and operated the Fall Creek Store on the Little Salmon River for several years then worked for an outfitter/guide business at Mackay Bar on the Salmon River and Hettinger Ranch on the South Fork Salmon River. These were just a few of the things they did and places they moved to for work until Shorty finally retired.
They made many trips to the southwest where they stayed for the winter. They also traveled to the east coast, Nashville and Alaska. Chris had a full life with many interests such as hard work, cooking – especially homemade pastries, playing games, music, being involved in the lives of her children and grandchildren. She loved horses, small animals, birds and flowers. And babies …oh, how she loved the babies.
She was a member of the Little Salmon River Bible Church and a past member of the IOOF in Riggins.
She lived a long life and enjoyed good health. And now she’s gone from us. We’ll miss her sweet smile and her laughter. She was always ready to lend a helping hand or an encouraging word to others. She lived her life with love for God and family and many friends along the way. Yes, we’ll miss her.
Chris and Shorty lived at the McCall Rehab and Care Center for several years. It’s where her husband of 71 years passed away in 2007 and where Mom passed on Sept. 14, 2014. She was preceded in death by her parents; her sister, Marjorie Huff Meagher; and her brother, Walter C. Huff, Jr.
Surviving family includes a son, Wayne Derrick and wife, LaVerne of Grangeville, Idaho; son, Bob Derrick of Pollock, Idaho; and daughter, LaVerne Derrick Willey and husband, Burton of Kamiah, Idaho; her sister, Waneta Huff Anderson of Spring Park, Minn.; nine grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; 11 great-great-grands; many nieces and nephews, cousins; very special cousin, Pearl VanEtten Compton of Boise, Idaho; and a host of extended family and friends.
The family thanks the staff at the care center who cared for her with tenderness and love. She had so many friends there.
We’ll miss her in unimaginable ways. Her love for each of us helps to heal our broken hearts. She’ll live on forever within the hearts of those who loved her. There will be a memorial service on Saturday, Oct. 18 beginning at noon Mountain Time in Riggins at the IOOF Community Hall to be followed by a covered dish dinner for everyone. Come prepared with stories to share of your special time with Chris.
Christel is one of the last of the era of elders in this Salmon River community who knew the old ways and the stories of life as she lived it.
Matthew 28:20 says “And surely I am with you always… to the very end of the age.”
Information from the Free-Press and our advertisers (Want to add your business to this to this feed?)