Michael Derr, age 61, died January, 24, 2013 in Rockville, Maryland.
He was born in Madison, Wisconsin, on August 1, 1951, to Jack and Ruth (Kneebone) Derr and grew up in Monona. He was a graduate of Monona Grove High School ('69), where he was known as "Doc," and earned a BA degree in journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison ('79) while working on the Wisconsin State Journal sports and city desks. He was a copy editor and feature writer for the Courier in Ottumwa, Iowa. In Arizona, he was executive news editor for the Mesa Tribune; managing editor of Phoenix Magazine; and, for 16 years, editor of America West Airlines Magazine. In Washington, D.C., he was an editor at the Chronicle of Education and Chronicle of Philanthropy and, from 2003 to 2012, was a senior communications analyst at the U.S. Government Accountability Office. He edited a dozen books, including two best sellers.
He was an avid hiker, and his love of nature was deeply expressed through his photography, which rivaled writing and editing as his passions. His photographs appeared in books, magazines, and newspapers in the United States, Europe, and Asia.
He is survived by his wife, Rebecka Derr; his father, Jack; brothers William and Timothy; and relatives in Arizona, California, Michigan, and North Carolina. He was preceded in death by his mother, Ruth Derr.
The family wishes to thank Avis, Christina, Laney, Cordelia, and Subee of Montgomery County Hospice for their expert and loving care. Thanks, too, to Agartha of CarePlus for her gentle and loving care. Donations on his behalf may be sent to the American Brain Tumor Association and The Nature Conservancy.
Friends will be received at Pumphrey's Colonial Funeral Home, 300 West Montgomery Avenue (Rte. 28, exit 6-A, just off I-270), Rockville, MD on Sunday, January 27 from 3:00 to 5:00PM.
Read Michael Derr's Obituary and Guestbook on pumphreyfuneralhome.com.