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
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.