Dr. William Adam Derrick, Jr., age 75, of Whippoorwill Lane, Boone, went home to be with Jesus, Tuesday morning, April 29, 2014, at Watauga Medical Center.
Dr. Derrick, or "Buck," as he was known, grew up in Spartanburg, SC where he met and married Liz, his high school sweetheart, the love of his life. He graduated from Wofford College and then Medical University of South Carolina in 1965. He served as a Captain in the United States Army, a flight surgeon in Japan.
He and his young family relocated to Boone, NC in 1968, where he was only the fourth doctor practicing in Watauga County at that time. He served as a general practitioner in private practice for eight years, lovingly caring for patients of all ages and with all health issues. In 1976 he began his term with Appalachian State University as a physician in ASU's Student Health Services, later becoming its director until his retirement in 2001. Dr. Derrick loved college students and caring for their health needs was more of a joy than a job to him, often remarking as he returned to work that Monday was his favorite day! During these years he also served as team physician for many ASU athletic teams, and for 25 years helped his wife teach sign language to ASU students. Throughout his career with ASU he was honored as Fellow of the American College Health Association, was presented the Charles Bohman Award which is the highest award bestowed by the Southern College Health Association, was awarded the Plemmons Medallion Award at ASU which is the highest award in student development, and was also given the highest honor by students, the Alpha Chi Outstanding Service award. After Dr. Derrick retired, he was honored by Appalachian State University with Emeritus Status by the Board of Trustees. In addition to his responsibilities at the Student Health Services, for 24 years Dr. Derrick served 6 terms as the physician to the United States Team for the Deaflympics, caring for deaf athletes all over the world. Even as a busy physician, Dr. Derrick's heart for his community and especially deaf and special needs was evident as he frequently volunteered as physician for Special Olympics, gave many free physicals to young athletes in Watauga County as needed, was medical consultant to Watauga County Center for Exceptional Children, Mountain Care Rest Home, the Cannon Center, and Watauga County Health Department. He was a member of the Board of Directors of Watauga Opportunities for 25 years, serving two terms as president, and also worked with deaf inmates at the Watauga County Correctional Unit. He also loved serving deaf and special needs members at his home church, Mount Vernon Baptist Church.Funeral Homes