Lawrence H. Derby Jr.
Published: January 10, 2013
Captain Lawrence H. Derby, Jr., United States Navy (Ret) of Warren, Ark. and Hot Springs, Ark. died Wednesday, January 9th in the North Park Medical Center in Hot Springs, Ark. He was born June 30, 1926 in Warren, Ark., a son of the late Lawrence H. Derby Sr. and Mable Meek Derby. Also preceding him in death was his first wife, Marilyn Church Derby, whom he married July 25th 1953, at Steubenville, Ohio and she died October 21, 2001. He graduated from the Warren Public School system, where he played football and basketball for the Lumberjacks. After graduation from Warren High School, he attended Arkansas A&M at Monticello where he shortly received an appointment to U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Being a Naval jet pilot was his true love, after graduation from the Academy, he spent a long and eventful career (30 years) in the Navy and the United Sates Naval Reserve earning the rank of Captain and becoming one of the first centurion jet pilots to earn 100 consecutive successful landings on the aircraft carrier, The Midway. He served his country proudly in the Korean Conflict and transferred into the Naval Reserve, serving in Pensacola, Florida, for many years and continuing his flying as a private pilot. On completion of active duty, Larry returned to Warren, Ark. to join his father in the Derby Insurance Agency, where he spent over 30 years in the insurance business. In 1964 he joined the Board of Directors of the Warren Bank and Trust Company, serving as director and as chairman of the Trust Committee until his death and served for many decades on the Board of Trustees of Arkansas College, now Lyon College, where he and his late wife, Marilyn Church Derby, endowed The Derby Math and Science Center which has helped lead and promote the education of students at the college in those fields of study and he was very proud of this. He was appointed by Governor Frank White to the Arkansas Aeronautical Commission, where he helped develop and improve municipal airports all over the state, using his personal aircraft, N49D, to accomplish that. He was an avid quail hunter and loved the game of golf, to a fault. Some of his best golfing memories were those at The Alotian Club, playing one of the best courses ever built.
Survivors include his wife, Jean Lee Derby, of Hot Springs, Ark.; two step-sons, Douglas Ward and spouse, Becky, Hot Springs, Ark. and Roger Ward and spouse, Barbie, and their children, Clark, Foxx and Gauge, all of Arkadelphia, Ark. Also, he is survived by his name sake, Mastin Derby Frazer of Warren, Ark.; two nephews Sam Derby Jr. and Spouse Caytee, Little Rock, Ark. and Larry M. Derby Sr. and spouse Melissa, Columbus, Ga.; a niece Lisa Derby Tozer and spouse Gregory, Bellevue, Wash.
Funeral services will be 1:30 p. m. Saturday, January 12th, at The First Presbyterian Church in Warren. Burial in Oakland Cemetery by Frazer's Funeral Home. A reception will follow the graveside service at Sue Wagon's home, 320 South Main Street, Warren. Online guestbook www.frazerfuneralhome.com.