Eva Claryce (Dean) Derek, 95, of Greensburg, died Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, at home. She was born Nov. 7, 1920, in Conrad, Mont., a daughter of the late Leslie L. and Eva Hurlbut Dean. Her journey to Greensburg started in the Rocky Mountain foothills of Montana and progressed to the shores of California, where the Western Pennsylvania connection was made after meeting Robert H. Derek, of Latrobe. Coming to the 1940s steel mill influenced Western Pa. from the Big Sky Country was a shock. But her strong will and independence recognized a good homestead for her family. While raising her family, she wanted to contribute to the Catholic church so she became a teacher at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Greensburg (Aquinas Academy). After teaching grade school for more than 15 years, she retired and went to work for the Westmoreland Office of Aging as a caseworker. She retired from the Area Agency on Aging after 10 years, but still wanted to contribute so she became active in the Literacy Plus program. All during these transitions, she remained close to family and friends and enjoyed playing bridge three to four times a week. She maintained her bridge playing up until the last. Mom, Mrs. Derek, Grammy, Nana, Dee Dee was loved and will be missed. In addition to her parents, Claryce was preceded in death by her husband, Robert H., and her oldest son, Robert L., and daughter-in-law, Toni A. Derek. She is survived by daughters, Karen A. Jackson, of Woodridge, Ill. (Stephen), and Suzanne E. Miller, of Home (Daniel); daughter-in-law, Rebecca S. Derek; and sons, Dean A. Derek, of Portland, Ore. (Barbara) and Stephen H. Derek, of Greensburg (Susan). She is also survived by 12 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
Relatives and friends are invited to celebrate the life of Claryce from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday in the CLEMENT L. PANTALONE FUNERAL HOME INC., 409 W. Pittsburgh St., Greensburg, PA 15601, 724-837-0020. Parting prayers will be held at 9 a.m. Wednesday in the funeral home, followed by a funeral Mass to be celebrated at 9:30 a.m. in Blessed Sacrament Cathedral. Interment will follow in Greensburg Catholic Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Friends of the Pittsburgh Fisher House, University Drive C, Building 33, Pittsburgh, PA 15240. Mrs. Derek's family has entrusted her care to the Pantalone Funeral Home Inc., Greensburg. To share your memories and photos, offer your condolences, or for directions, please visit us at www.pantalone.com. Natale N. Pantalone, supervisor.