Richard A. Derks

  • Born: January 4, 1933
  • Died: March 3, 2020
  • Location: Battle Creek, Michigan

Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care

105 Capital Ave NE
Battle Creek, MI 49017

Tel. (269) 962-5527

Tribute & Message From The Family

Richard A. Derks, of Battle Creek, died suddenly at his home, surrounded by loved ones on March 3, 2020. Dick was the second child of three born to Albertus and Josephine (Schipper) Derks in Ann Arbor, MI January 4, 1933, both of whom preceded him in death.

Dick was raised in the Detroit area; an Army Veteran of the Korean Conflict and attended Michigan State University. He wed his bride, who survives him, of 62 years Jeannine (Smith) Derks on August 20, 1957. Together they raised three children, all of whom survive and their families; Duffy A. (Sharon) Derks of Kalispell, MT, Eric A. (Robin Taylor) Derks of Arlington, VA and Cassandra A. (Carter) Kent of St. Joseph, MI. Dick was a proud and beloved Grandpa to Zechariah, Malachi, Shea, Nash, Benson, Stella and a great-grandpa to two. He was also a much-loved brother to his two sisters, Pat and Lynn, and a beloved uncle to all their children.

Dick came to Battle Creek in 1966 to take over as GM of Post Gardens. He later went on to build his businesses at K Drive Greenhouses and Michigan Grower Products. Dick was a much beloved and respected boss. He worked as hard as anyone and no task was beneath him. He preached and practiced work ethic, fairness and respect in the workplace.

Outside of work, Dick and Jeannine shared many adventures around the world. His love of water often played into these trips. You could find him on their trips most often sailing, snorkeling and swimming. Back in Michigan summers were spent at the marina on his on sailboat, indulging his love for the 'Big Lake.'

He was a light and a force. A room never stayed dark upon his entrance. Though we are saddened by his passing, we are filled with joy for the life he led.

Cremation has taken place and an informal gathering in remembrance of Richard Derks will be held 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Sunday, May 3, 2020 at Res-Les Farms, 1802 H Drive South, East Leroy, MI 49051.

Arrangements by the Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care. Personal messages for the family may be placed here at


Condolence & Memory Journal

My deepest sympathies to Jeannine and the Derks family over the loss of Richard. I will pray for the family during this time of mourning, reflection and remembrance. God bless.

Posted by Michael Downing - Battle Creek, MI   March 12, 2020

Posted by Michael Downing - Battle Creek, MI   March 12, 2020

May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.

Posted by Joseph Smith - Friend   March 11, 2020

I met Dick at K Drive. I grew to love talking to him and working with him. He and I have a love for rocks. I like looking for pudding stones and Dick liked them also so I found a nice big one and brought it to work for him. He loved it. I had lots of talks with zDick about his love of the water. He had lots of stories. He will be missed by everyone at the greenhouse. What a great person. My prayers are with the family.

Posted by Sheri Galli - Sherwood, MI   March 10, 2020