John James Derkits, Jr. passed away on October 5, 2021 at the age of 79. His parents were John James Derkits, native of Austria and Beatrice Thomas Derkits, native of Wales. He was born on November 20, 1941 in Mobile, Alabama. His school years were spent at University Military Schools in Mobile. John graduated from the University of Florida where he earned a degree in Forestry. Everyone knew he was a loyal Gator fan.
His entire career was in Forestry. He worked for Georgia Kraft in Rome, Georgia. A position with Kirby Lumber Company brought him to Silsbee, Texas in 1973. He worked for Louisiana Pacific and then he was with Temple Inland in Silsbee and Jasper until his retirement in 2005.
He met his wife, Bonnie at the University of Florida. They have been married for almost 60 years. He loved his family so much.
He is survived by his children, Alyson Donalson and husband Drew of Silsbee, TX, Gretchen Woodard and husband Bobby of Silsbee, Janna Cormier and husband James of Austin, TX, Cecilia Allen and husband Brad of Martindale, TX and John James Derkits, III and wife Laura of Port Aransas, TX. He was devoted to his 15 wonderful grandchildren and his 6 adorable great-granddaughters.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his two beautiful granddaughters, Beatrice Camille Cormier and Erin Caroline Donalson.
John and Bonnie spent summers at their home in Balsam, NC, a very special place in the Smokey Mountains of Western North Carolina. Favorite activities of his included sailing, hunting, grilling and fun times with family and friends.
John was very dedicated to his church, St. John’s Episcopal Church in Silsbee, TX and held numerous positions in the church in his 48 years of membership.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial donations be made to St. John’s Book of Remembrance P.O. Box 636, Silsbee, TX 77656, Trinity-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church Building Fund, P.O. Box 346, Port Aransas, TX 78373 or the Texas Forestry Museum, 1905 Atkinson St., Lufkin, TX 75901.