Nature 14

David T. Derber

May 27, 1931 ~ May 4, 2022 (age 90)


David T. Derber, 90, Appleton, died peacefully Wednesday, May 4, 2022, with his daughters, Ellen and Ann, at his side, at the Valley VNA. Born in Stevens Point May 27th, 1931, son of Mary Thom and Gordon Derber, he was the eldest of four brothers who became known as “The infamous Derber Boys”.  His childhood education included many Camp Manito-wish sessions, along with military schooling at Shattuck of Minnesota.  He developed many childhood friendships that remained strong late into life. Soon after graduating from high school, he enlisted in the Marines as the country was entering the Korean War.  He was fortunate to return to his hometown to meet the love of his life, Lavon Allen from Menasha. Married in 1955 the two moved forward to build a strong family of five wonderful children while settling into Whitefish Bay.  (Later in life the five children were joined by five even more wonderful spouses). Finding that the family could not live on fish and game alone he eventually became a grade school teacher at Bryant Elementary School on the north side of Milwaukee.  David continued with schooling to obtain his master’s degree in English literature, always having a good book in his hands. His love for children and his drive to add to their development gave him much joy over the years. At age 55 he opted to take early retirement to promote his other loves of forestry, wildlife management and conservation. He was also slowly amassing a number of grandchildren and later in life many great grandchildren, with 1 more great on the way & one great- great recently making her appearance. His love for his family, neighbors and friends will be cherished. 

Dave is survived by a son, Brian (Anne) Derber, Presque Isle, WI, daughters:  Ellen (Dennis) Reinwald, Horicon, Ann (George) Kessler, Neenah, a son, Steven (Lynn) Derber Stevens Point; son-in-law, Kevin Lyons-Tarr, Neenah, a brother, Gordon (Linda), Hayward; sister-in-law, Ellen Derber, Manistique, MI; grandchildren:  Ian, Emma, Christopher (Kori), Jacob (Melissa), Katie, Sara (Brian), Derek, David (Tiffany), Jordan, Kayla, Zach (Annie), Ali (Berkeley); great grandchildren, Dakota, Cayden, Zak, Breanne, Cyriana, Breckin, Trinity, Nikki Mae, Brody, Joslyn, Madeline, Morgan, Macey and Jace and one on the way and a great great grandchild, Emmalyn.

In addition to his wife, Lavon, Dave was also preceded in death by a daughter, Jenny; grandchildren:  Shawn, Nicholas, Destiny and Marissa; brothers:  John (Winnie) and Peter.

A memorial gathering will be held Saturday, May 14, 2022, at the Kessler Funeral Home from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  In lieu of flowers memorials have been established for Camp Manito-wish YMCA and foundation.

We would like to thank Dr. Jack Anderson, Lori Kleinschmidt, the Valley VNA, and Theda Care Hospice for their care and compassion.


To send flowers to David's family, please visit our floral store.


Memorial Gathering
May 14, 2022

10:30 PM to 12:00 PM
Kessler Funeral Home
304 S. Commercial Street
Neenah, WI 54956

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