Obit: Derks, Francis Edward (1935 - 2012)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon
Surnames: Derks, Bruha, Holewinski, Felipe, Vanegas, Larson, Doherty, Betterly, Kelley, Ciolkosz, Slowiak, Goettl, France, Swan, Felix

----Source: Thorp Courier (Thorp, Clark Co., WI) 12/19/2012

Derks, Francis Edward (2 November 1935 - 12 December 2012) With Flag

Francis Edward Derks, age 77, passed away on Wednesday, December 12, 20112, at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Marshfield. Francis was born November 2, 1935, in Boyd, the son of the late John & Julia (Bruha) Derks. He attended East Riverside School and St. Joseph’s Catholic School through the 8th grade, during which time his father passed away. As the oldest son and fifth oldest child out of 10 children ranging in age from two to 19, Francis stayed home to help his mother on the farm. Francis was taught to drive and handle horses by his father at a very young age and used horses for transportation and field work. As the years went on, Francis took on the role of being the father figure to his younger siblings - always advising and looking out for their well-being. Francis never once thought of himself or gave up trying to help his entire family.

In his early 20’s, he proudly served his country in the U. S. Army. On September 12, 1959, he was united in marriage to Patricia Holewinski at St. Mary’s Czestochowa Catholic Church, Junction. Francis was a lifelong farmer, who also hauled milk, livestock and worked as a licensed cheesemaker. Upon his retirement, he worked at the Holy Family Parish and Cabin Ridge Rides, giving horse-drawn wagon and Carriage rides. He was also a very active and devout member of the church communities of St. Mary’s Czestochowa and Holy Family Parish. Francis loved working with and raising his horses, telling jokes and stories, officiating at local horse pulls, rebuilding manure spreaders, and spending time with his children and grandchildren. H was a member of the WI Horse Pullers Association, Percheron Horse Association, Knights of Columbus and the American Legion.

Francis is survived by his wife, Pat, of Stanley; children: Kenneth (Gloria) Derks of Plano, TX, Carol (Luis Felipe) Vanegas of Gilbert, AZ, Mary Derks (special friend Scott Larson) of St. Paul, MN, Robert (Karen) Derks of Greenville, WI, and Jean (Kevin) Doherty of Watertown, WI; grandchildren: Dustin Betterly, Alexandra and Maria Vanegas, Rachel; and Rebecca Derks, and Nathan and Megan Doherty; siblings: Marie (Gordon) Kelley of Eau Claire, john (Dorothy) Derks of Boyd, Julia Ciolkosz of Thorp, Barbara (Paul) Slowiak of Chippewa Falls, Elizabeth (Donald) Slowiak of Wooddale, IL; brother-in-law, James Goettl of Indianapolis, IN; and sister-in-law, Rita Derks of Thorp.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and siblings: Leona France, Evelyn Goettl, Anna Swan and Henry Derks.

Services were held on Saturday, December 15, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. at Holy Family Catholic Church, Stanley, with Fr. William Felix officiating. Burial followed in the parish cemetery with the Stanley American Legion Victory Post #112 performing military graveside rites. Friends and family called Friday evening from 4-8 p.m. at the Plombon Funeral Home in Stanley, with a 7:30 rosary being recited, and one hour prior to service time at the funeral home on Saturday morning.



© Every submission is protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.


Show your appreciation of this freely provided information by not copying it to any other site without our permission.


Become a Clark County History Buff


Report Broken Links

A site created and maintained by the Clark County History Buffs
and supported by your generous donations.


Webmasters: Leon Konieczny, Tanya Paschke,

Janet & Stan Schwarze, James W. Sternitzky,

Crystal Wendt & Al Wessel