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William Derke

Aug. 17, 1932-Feb. 11, 2008

Former Frazee area resident William "Bill" Derke, 75, of West Fargo, died on Monday, February 11, 2008 at his home.

William Otto Derke was born the son of Albert and Ruth (Ogroske) Derke on Aug. 17, 1932 in Corliss Township, where he was raised and attended country school. Following school, he worked for Lemkuhl International Harvester in Perham. He entered the United States Army in 1954 and served during the Korean War, until receiving his honorable discharge in February 1956.

Bill married Alice Palmer on Aug. 25, 1956 in St. Paul's Lutheran Church-Evergreen. They moved to Fergus Falls, where he continued to work for International Harvester. Through his career with International Harvester he lived in Great Falls, Mont.; Mandan, N.D.; Huron, S.D.; Houston, Texas; Naperville, Ill.; Jackson, Miss.; Watertown, S.D.; Woodridge, Ill.; Racine, Wis., and then West Fargo. He also traveled overseas to China, Greece, Australia and Africa. He retired in 1991. Bill then began working for Pro Harvest CNH, and was employed with Pro Harvest until the time of his death.

Bill enjoyed golfing, cards, playing poker with poker chips where the winner won a traveling trophy made by his brother-in-law, Paul LaFond. He loved working with his brother-in-law, Dennis Palmer on the farm near Evergreen. He would work on tractors, build fish houses and hunt deer. He loved being with his family.

Bill will be sadly missed by his wife of 52 years, Alice of West Fargo; a son, Scott (Laura) Derke of Detroit Lakes; Susan Derke Anderson of West Fargo; a sister, Bernice (Paul) LaFond of Perham; six grandchildren; a step grandson; a great grandson; his mother-in-law, Violet Palmer of Frazee; three sisters-in-law, Janice (Tom) Tupper of Rochester, Minn., Joyce Palmer of Frazee and Karen Palmer of Plano, Texas; a brother-in-law, Dennis Palmer of Frazee; as well as many nephews, nieces and friends.

Preceding him in death were his parents and two brothers, Aloyisus and Arnold Derke.

Visitation for Bill will be held from 4-8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, with a prayer service beginning at 7 p.m. in the Furey Funeral Home, Frazee and also one hour prior to services in the church.

Funeral services are scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, at St. Paul's Lutheran Church-Evergreen, rural Frazee with the Rev. Anthony Cloose officiating. Burial will be in the Lakeside Cemetery, Frazee.

Arrangements are with the Furey Funeral Home, Frazee.