Derwood, son of Arlo and Elnora Mercer, was born in Blunt, S.D., on March 8, 1931, and graduated from Blunt High School in 1949. He served in the Army during the Korean War and was discharged in 1953. In 1957, he married Lorli Giziewski in Harrold, S.D., and to this union was born three daughters and one son. He graduated from South Dakota State University in 1961 with a degree in Agriculture Economics and started a career with the Bureau of Reclamation in Huron, S.D. Daughters Karee and Kristie were born in Huron. In 1965, the Bureau of Reclamation transferred Derwood to Billings and daughter Kim and son Jason joined the family. Derwood retired from the Bureau of Reclamation in 1990.
As a member of Mount Olive Lutheran Church, he taught Sunday School and was Sunday School superintendent in excess of 20 years and served on a number of boards.
Derwood served on Little League boards and coached senior league girls softball and boys baseball. He was a member of the American Legion baseball Board of Directors and did volunteer work on building and maintaining baseball fields.
He was involved in Aid Association for Lutherans, both in fundraising for benevolent needs and in social activities, and served as a branch officer for 20 years. He was elected to the LCMS Montana District Board of Directors in 1998 and 2000, and served as the District’s representative on the Lutheran Social Services Board of Directors.
Derwood is survived by his wife, Lorli; daughter, Karee and husband Bob Bradford and their two daughters and husbands, Kaylee and Drew Thompson and Rachel and Josh Gilligan; daughter Kristie Hepburn; daughter Kim and husband Mike Hoxie, children, Chris, Caleb and Lauren; son Jason and wife, Tara Mercer, and daughters, Mariah, Ellie and Olivia; two brothers and two sisters. He was preceded in death by his parents, one sister and his son-in-law, John Hepburn.
Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30, at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary, 1001 Alderson Ave. Services will be at 10 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 1, at Mount Olive Lutheran Church, 2336 St. Johns Ave. Interment will be in Yellowstone Valley Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to LCMS World Relief and Human Care, 1333 S. Kirkwood Road, St. Louis, MO 63122 or American Legion Baseball, No. 4, PO Box 22535, Billings, MT 59104.