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Robert T. Derr, 89


August 29, 2011


Robert Trauger Derr, 89, of Montoursville, PA died Sunday, August 28, 2011 of pulmonary fibrosis.  Mr. Derr was born April 15, 1922 at the office and home of his grandfather, Dr. Fuller S. Derr, in Watsontown PA.  He was the son of the late Violet Trauger Derr (Fischer) and Harold Schmucker Derr.

He was a member of the Faith United Methodist Church in Montoursville.

As a child he lived in Turbotville PA, Alberquerque NM, and Williamsport PA.  As teenagers, Bob and his brother Harold (known to most people as”Short”) rode their motorcycles across the country. He graduated from Turbotville High School and joined the Army Air Corps for service in Africa during WWII.   After WWII he and his brother owned and operated Derr's Ice Cream on Third Street in Loyalsock PA. That store had the first neon sign on the Golden Strip. The entrance to the K-Mart is now at the original Derr's Ice Cream location. They later opened a second store in Montoursville on Arch Street.  In the late '50s, Mr. Derr worked at Lundy Lumber and the Williamsport Post Office. In 1959, he accepted a position as an Air Traffic Control Operator with the FAA. He worked at the Bradford Airport, Williamsport Airport, Wilkes-Barre Airport, and then again at the Williamsport Airport. During his career with the FAA, he earned several "We Point with Pride" awards for finding lost pilots and averting airplane crashes. He retired in November 1984 and enjoyed woodworking, gardening, and traveling. Bob and his wife Thelma did mission work in the SW with the United Methodist Church upon their retirement and enjoyed many years escaping February's cold by going to Garden City, SC.

His wife, Thelma Marie Murray Derr, preceded him in death in 2002.

He is survived by his son, the Reverend Dennis W. Derr and his wife Diane of Hollidaysburg PA and his daughter, Sandra L. Derr of Reston VA.   Also surviving are two granddaughters; Karen L. Derr Hoyes and Sarah M. Derr Sterious and one grandson, Joshua J. Derr.  He is also survived by three great-grandchildren; Matthew Carafides, Steven Sterious, and Marissa Hoyes.  Also surviving is one sister, Violet Husted. He is also survived by his dear friend Stella Bennett. He has enjoyed the loving support of many friends and relatives.  In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his brother Harold Derr.

We have been blessed to have Bob Derr in our lives. As his great-granddaughter says, "Grandpa Bob will be a wonderful angel."

Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Memorial Service to be held Friday, September 2, 2011 at 11:30 a.m. at Faith United Methodist Church, 700 Fairview Drive, Montoursville, PA with his pastor the Reverend Larry Leland officiating. Burial will be private.  Memorial contributions may be made to Susquehanna Health Home Care and Hospice, 1100 Grampian Boulevard, Williamsport, PA 17701.  Arrangements are under the direction of Visneski Funeral Home, Inc. 10 W Mahoning Street Danville PA.  www.visneski.com


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