Nikki May Derr, a long time resident of Napa, died Sunday the 31st of March at the Napa Valley Senior Living (NVSL) care home.
Born in 1941 in Joplin, MO, She came to Vallejo in 1942 with her family when her father joined the US Navy’s Submarine Service. She attended Vallejo public schools and was a graduate of Vallejo Senior High in 1958. She married Larry J. Derr in 1960 and they raised a family of two boys; Larry J. Derr Jr. of Apple Valley and Randy Jay Derr of Healdsburg. They lived in Vallejo until 1975 when they moved to Napa.
Nikki and Larry moved to Japan in 1989 and on to Guam in 1990 and then back to Napa in 1992. While in Guam Nikki became the first civilian wife to head the Marianas Naval Officer Wives Club and enjoyed multiple buying trips throughout Asia to contract merchandise and luxury goods to be sold at the MNOWC BAZAAR located on top of Nimitz Hill, Guam. All proceeds from which were for the benefit of Navy/Marine families.
Nikki loved people and was a lifelong owner and lover of Beagles. She was an accomplished Scuba diver and made many trips throughout the world to enjoy the waters of far off islands from Tonga; Australia; Fiji; French Polynesia; Indonesia; Marianas; Hawaiin Islands; Malaysia; the Great Barrier Reef to the SE Carribbean. She loved to fish in the small streams of the high Sierras. In their sixties she and Larry made several long hiking trips in the south of France stopping each night in the hill towns of Provence. They hiked across Scotland from sea to sea and climbed several of the Munros in northern Scotland and spent an exilerating night in the drizzle at Edinburgh castle watching the annual Tattoo of military pipe bands. An avid birdwatcher she enjoyed trips with her husband to Latin America, South Africa and southwestern United States looking for rare birds. Always up for the next adventure, she loved traveling to new places. Her favorite spots in all the world was Port Douglas, Australia “before the Japanese bought it” and Siena Italy.
She was a passionate supporter of charities for service veterans and worked tirelessly to raise funds to provide service dogs and training for Northern California post 9/11 veterans impacted by Post Traumatic Stress in residence at the Pathway Home in Yountville.
The greatest moment in her life was the birth of her only grandchild, Nicholas. Present at the moment of his birth, the smile on her face and the tears in her eyes were something to remember. A great wife, a wonderful mother and a superb grandmother she is survived by her husband Larry; both sons Larry Jr. and Randy; her grandson Nicholas and his mother , a special daughter-in-law to Nikki, Marie Derr of Windsor. Many thanks for the dedicated care of her primary Kaiser physicians, Dr. Julie Ann Winter and Dr. Lynn Marie Kostecki-Csanyi and for the love and care given by the staff at the NVSL, in particular Sweet Sue, Brother Rueben, little Sister Teresa and Commander Ian.
She wanted no services, memorial gifts may be made to the Wounded Warriors Project.