Navy veteran without family will receive funeral with honors

Roy Derrick will be laid to rest in Coupeville on July 21. He died in Everett on July 7.

Roy Derrick

Roy Derrick

In 1999, a U.S. Navy veteran made arrangements for his burial with the now-defunct Burley Funeral Chapel in Oak Harbor.

Fast forward 20-plus years, and, on July 7, Roy Derrick died at age 75 on July 7 in Everett.

A retired senior chief ocean systems maintenance technician, Derrick was born in 1945. He served in the Navy for 21 years, reaching the rank of senior chief petty officer. His last duty station was at what is now known as the Naval Ocean Processing Facility on Whidbey Island.

Because he has no known surviving family members, there was a possibility that Derrick would have slipped in obscurity, without even an obituary.

But Wallin Funeral Home and Cremation in Oak Harbor had purchased Derrick’s contract after Burley’s went out of business in 2017.

When Kelly Davidson, funeral director at Wallin, received a call about Derrick’s death, she went through her files and pulled out a blue folder that contained the details of how the veteran wanted to be buried.

As a result, Derrick will be laid to rest at Sunnyside Cemetery in Coupeville on Tuesday, July 21. An open casket visitation will be held from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

The funeral is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. and a graveside service will follow.

“When I come across a veteran who has no family, I want to make sure our community knows because we are so close to his last station,” Davidson said. “I’m trying to give him the honors that he is due for his service to our country and I’m desperate to find people in our community who know this particular veteran.”

Davidson said she reached out to the local VFW, American Legion and Naval Air Station Whidbey Island to see if there is anyone who knew Derrick and would like to pay their respects. The Honor Guard and Patriot Guard Riders plan to attend the funeral. It will also be live streamed on the Wallin Funeral Home Facebook page for a friend of the veteran who lives in Alabama, and anyone who may have known him in Everett and Oak Harbor.

In 1968, Derrick attended Basic Sonar School in San Diego and Fleet Sonar School in Key West, Florida. He worked on the Navy’s Sound Surveillance System and was stationed at many naval bases in the Caribbean Sea, likely tracking Russian submarines during the Cold War.

In 1986 he served at his last duty station Naval Facility Whidbey Island, which later became the Naval Ocean Processing Facility Whidbey Island in 1987, indicating that Derrick was likely a plank owner. He retired in 1989.

Throughout his career, Derrick received the Navy Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, 4 Meritorious Unit Commendations, 5 Good Conduct awards, Navy Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon, Pistol Sharpshooter Ribbon, Rifle Marksman Ribbon and the Flag Letter of Commendation.

This story originally appeared in the Whidbey News-Times, a sister publication to The Herald.

Talk to us

More in Northwest

Rare white bald eagle treated for injury on San Juan Island

The unusual light coloring is caused by a genetic mutation that affects pigmentation of the feathers.

Inslee says schools in virus hot spots should stay closed

That includes Snohomish County. But the he backs reopening elementaries in counties with low infection rates.

Court rules in lawsuit challenging voter guide statement

The state Supreme Court ruled against Chris Reykdal, who sued his reelection opponent for defamation.

State reports 11 cases of inflammatory pediatric syndrome

Six of the cases in Washington are children 9 or younger and five are in children 10 or older.

Famed Seattle DJ Pat O’Day dies at 85

He is credited with helping the Seattle music scene rise to national prominence.

Inslee orders flags to be lowered in memory of officers

The honors are for Bothell Police Officer Jonathan Shoop and Washington State Patrol Trooper Justin R. Schaffer.

More travelers are flying in and out of Yakima

The increase in passengers has led Alaska Airlines to add a 2nd daily flight to Seattle.

Gov. Jay Inslee cruises, with GOP’s Loren Culp a strong 2nd

Denny Heck leads the contest for lieutenant governor. Incumbent Democrats routed foes in other statewide races.

Microsoft tries to salvage deal to buy TikTok, appease Trump

The president had floated plans for an outright ban of the app on national security grounds.

Police investigate shooting outside casino in Tacoma

Puyallup Tribal Police said a male suspect fled on foot from the scene.

Man accused in Bothell officer’s death pleads not guilty

Henry Eugene Washington, 37, was charged in King County Superior Court on July 17.

Gyms will need to triple distance for exercising indoors

Starting Aug. 10, gyms in the state will be required to provide about 17 feet of distance.