Walter G. Derjue Sr., 84, of Westmoreland, passed away peacefully on Sept. 29, 2021.
He was born in Providence, R.I., on Nov. 29, 1936, to Lisette (Gossler) and Gustav Derjue. He grew up in Warwick, R.I., with his two older sisters, Anna and Rita.
He attended St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Providence, R.I., where he met his wife, June (Schmid) Derjue. They were happily married for 60 years. After moving to Westmoreland, they were blessed with four children: Walter Jr., Julie, Wendy and Janine. Walter was a loving husband and proud father and grandfather.
His parents were German immigrants, arriving in the U.S. in the 1920s. They instilled an affinity for farming and gardening that lasted throughout his life. He started working at local farms at a young age to earn money. Upon graduating from Warwick High School, he entered the dairy business, forming Rich-Wal Farm with his brother-in-law, Richard Lawson. In 1960, the partnership purchased a farm on River Road in Westmoreland and farmed the productive and beautiful land for 27 years. Their registered Holstein cows were highly regarded and sold internationally.
After the partnership ended in 1987, Walter devoted his time to restoring the original brick farmhouse and volunteering his time at Trinity Lutheran Church and town organizations. He used his inventiveness to rebuild and construct numerous projects for his family, church and neighborhood. He loved to meet new people and could start a conversation with anyone. He had a gift for connecting with animals and appreciated the nature around him, especially the view from his back porch in Westmoreland. In all this time, Walter and June were constant companions who complemented and loved each other very much.
With his sunny disposition and willingness to help, he will be much missed by his family and friends. He is survived by his wife, June Derjue; his children: Walter Derjue Jr., and his wife, Mili, of Lisbon, Conn.; Julie Stack, and her husband, Rich, of Carrollton, Texas, and Tampa, Fla.; Wendy Derjue-Holzer, and her husband, Matt, of Somerville, Mass.; and Janine Tokarczyk, and her husband, John, of Mebane, N.C.; his grandchildren: Jillian, Daniel and Christopher Derjue, Kevin and Colleen Stack, and Alison and Natalie Holzer; a sister, Anna Lawson, of Westmoreland; a brother-in-law, Carle Zimmerman, of Littleton, Colo.; a sister-in-law, Nancy Schmid, of Williamsville, N.Y.; and many nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his sister, Rita Zimmerman; and a brother-in-law, Richard Lawson.
A celebration of life service will be held on Friday, Oct. 8, 2021, at 11 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Keene. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to: Trinity Lutheran Church Memorial Fund, 100 Maple Ave., Keene NH 03431; or Cure Alzheimer’s Fund (https://curealz.org/) Burial will take place privately in the South Village Cemetery, Glebe Road, Westmoreland. All services are under the care of Cheshire Family Funeral Chapel and Crematories, 44 Maple Ave., Keene NH 03431(www.cheshirefamilyfh.com).