PETERBOROUGH, NH: Robert O. Derrick Jr. died peacefully in the morning of April 8, 2012 at RiverMead in Peterborough, N.H. surrounded by his beloved family. He was born in Detroit, the son of Robert O. Derrick and Clara D. Hodges.
Mr. Derrick moved with his wife, Lois Derrick, to Rivermead Retirement Community after having lived in Gloucester for 26 years. He spent most of his working life in McLean, Va. where he worked as an Engineer for the United States Government and built his career with the C.I.A.
He was educated at St. Paul’s School in Concord, NH, graduating in 1942. He served in the United States Army Air Corps until 1945 when he entered Yale University to study engineering. While in the United States Army Air Corps, he served as a flight instructor flying B-24’s, B-25’s, and B-26’s. After graduating from Yale in 1949, he began his career as an engineer at General Motors near Chicago where he helped build diesel locomotives, something his St. Paul’s classmates remember as his first love and ambition. In 1954, his first love became his second love when he married the lovely Lois Wilson, and together started their family. In 1960, he joined the Central Intelligence Agency where he worked on the development of three technical intelligence collection systems: The prototype SR-71, a high altitude Mach3 reconnaissance aircraft; the U-2R, a later model of the original U-2 reconnaissance aircraft; and the Hughes Glomar Explorer, a marine intelligence collection system. His most enjoyable time there was his last tour as a member of the CIA Inspector General’s Office where he learned to shed his technical purview and learn the ropes of a new and interesting activity.
He spent 21 challenging and fascinating years at the CIA, and he and his wife, Lois, loved Virginia where they raised their children, Bobby and Jeanie and had many good friends. Upon retiring from the United States Government, he and his wife moved to Gloucester, where they made their summer home into a permanent residence. From 1981 to 1995 he worked at the MITRE Corporation as a consultant.
He was passionate about Dixieland Jazz and the Big Band Sound, Steam locomotives and his model railroad. He also enjoyed reading his Aviation Week magazines, and spending time with all his family. During his last five years, while living at Rivermead, he commented daily about how much he loved living in New Hampshire and about all the nice people and the staff who cared for him at Rivermead.
Mr. Derrick is survived by his wife of 58 years, Lois Wilson Derrick; his daughter, Jeanie D. West of Peterborough, and his son, Robert O. Derrick III, of Maplewood, N.J. He also leaves behind three grandchildren, Ian Derrick West, Robert Braitmayer West, and Edwards Shane Dill.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to Monadnock Community Hospital, Philanthropy Department, 452 Old Street Road, Peterborough, NH 03458, Peterborough Fire and Rescue, 16 Summer Street, Peterborough, NH 03458, or All Saints Episcopal Church at Concord Street, Peterborough, N.H. Jellison Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.