John Chester Derr

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Mr. John Chester Derr (Chester) was born on December 27, 1920, in Wallis, Texas. Chester was preceded in death by his parents, Annie Rooney Henderson Derr and Clarence Derr; and by his siblings, Sammy Clarence Derr, William Cecil Derr, and Robert Carroll Derr. He is survived by his loving wife of 67 years, Elinor Anne Love Derr; his four children, Judge Jacque D Derr, John Andre Derr, Elinor Lynn Derr Fordham, and Loel Alan Derr; his sister, Gladys Floy Derr Benz; his eight grandchildren, Jean Derr Bushong, Jamie Derr Gonzales, Jacque D Derr, Jr., John Philip Fordam, Jennifer Fordham, Carole Fordham, Rachel Fordham, and Nigel Derr; six great grandchildren, and many other family members and friends. Chester attended Houston Public Schools and graduated from Stephen F. Austin High School in 1938. He entered the US Army Air Corps on September 14, 1942 and served through December 11, 1945. While serving his country during World War II, he served 17 months overseas in Africa and Southern Europe. Once returning home after the war, he attended Kilgore College from 1946 - 1947 as an honor student and was awarded a stipend from the Texas Legislature for a paper he wrote titled, “The Duties of a Citizen in a Democratic Government”. While attending a Kilgore College, Chester met and married the love of his life, Anne, who was a Kilgore Rangerette at the college. He and Anne then moved to Ruston, Louisiana where he attended Louisiana Polytechnic Institute and graduated with a degree in forestry in 1949. During his time at Louisiana Tech, he was voted “Outstanding Member of Class”. After graduating, Chester worked in timber sales, then moved to Winnfield, Louisiana in 1954 to work for the Winn Parish Printing Co., to sell printing services and to be the advertising manager for the Winn Parish Enterprise. He resigned on July 15, 1975, to begin his own business, The Print Shop of Winnfield, Inc. Chester worked at The Print Shop until his retirement July 1, 2010. While living in Winnfield, Chester was an active member of the community as a Commander of the Everette S. Fick Post #9 of the American Legion from 1955 - 1975, as a Cub Scout Leader, a member of the Winn Parish Library Board, a member of the Winn Parish Democratic Committee, a member of the Winn Parish Lions Club, a Superintendent for and a member of First Baptist Church, and as an Executive Committee Member of the Ouachita Valley Boy Scouts of America. Yet, of all of Chester’s accomplishments, his greatest accomplishment was that of being a loving husband of 67 years and a loving and supportive father, grandfather, and great grandfather. Funeral services were held at 11:00 AM on Friday, November 29, 2013 in the funeral home chapel with Rev. John Holland and Rev. Stephen Laughlin officiating. Interment followed in Garden of Memories, in Winnfield. Pallbearers were Bobby Derr, Jacque Derr, Jr., Philip Fordham, Nigel Derr, Bart Stewart and Rayford Riley. Honorary pallbearers were Leo Shelton, Tommy Milam, Cranford Jordan, Raymond Carpenter, Kirk Cooper and Paul Clay Larson. Online condolences may be made to the family at
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