Paul J. Derico


Paul J. Derico, 74, of the Jackson’s Mill community, departed this Earth and traveled to his Eternal Home on Thursday, May 14, 2020 following a courageous battle with cancer. He passed in the comfort of his own home surrounded by loving family.

He was born in Upshur County on August 28, 1945, a son of Amelia Ricottilli Derico and the late Guy P. Derico.

On December 27, 1969, Mr. Derico married the love of his life, Helen Sue Messenger. Together they made their home in Lewis County and shared the last 50 wonderful years of marriage. She will miss him immensely.

Mr. Derico is survived by his mother, Amelia Derico of Buckhannon; wife, Helen Sue Derico of Weston; two children: Chris Derico of Mt. Clare, and Tim Derico and wife, Kim, of Jane Lew; four grandchildren: Savannah, Cameron, Joe, and Tom; six siblings: Elaine Katai and husband, Geza, of Uniontown, OH, Joann Huffman and husband, Brian, of French Creek, Mariann Jack and husband, David, Michael DeRico and wife, Mary, and Patty Sayre and husband, Arthur, all of Buckhannon, and Helen Golden of Bethel Park, PA; mother-in-law, Lucy Messenger of Jane Lew; three brothers-in-law: Richard Messenger and wife, Donna, of Weston, James Messenger and wife, Martha, of West Union, and Steven Messenger and wife, Georgia, of Delaware, OH; one sister-in-law, Regina Pritt and husband, Bill, of Weston; and several nieces and nephews.

During his battle with cancer, Paul received infusions at Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital where he became especially close with Cathy, Marcie, Heather, Katie and Leslie. Paul cared deeply for these ladies along with his home health nurse, Vanessa, and was also thankful for Dr. Rob Snuffer, Dr. Ali and their staff.

Mr. Derico was a 1963 graduate of Buckhannon-Upshur High School. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Education from Glenville State College in 1967 and his Master's Degree from West Virginia University in 1969. He also received his School Administration Certification in 1978. Mr. Derico devoted his life to education, working for the Lewis and Tucker County Boards of Education for 34 years, serving as a teacher, principal, transportation supervisor and treasurer. He faithfully served as principal of St. Patrick School for 14 years. Mr. Derico was also elected to serve on the Lewis County Board of Education five terms and served in that capacity for 18 years.

Mr. Derico was a member of St. Patrick Catholic Church and the Weston Rotary Club, and he represented Region 7 on the West Virginia School Board Association. He enjoyed woodworking and made many gifts for relatives and friends. Mr. Derico loved to make clocks, bowls, furniture, and other items to give away. He also enjoyed gardening, especially his strawberry plants. In the summer, he took pleasure in sharing his strawberries with family and friends.

In 2013 he received the Bishop’s Cross Award in recognition for his years of service to Catholic schools in West Virginia. Mr. Derico was a proud supporter of Lewis County High School athletics and could often be found in the bleachers supporting LCHS student/athletes. He proudly served as the clock operator at home football games for 40 plus years. Mr. Derico missed only five football games at home or away since moving to Lewis County in 1967 and in 2019, he received the West Virginia Athletic Directors Association Award for Distinguished Service in recognition of these accomplishments. In 2017, he received an award from the Lewis County Chamber of Commerce for being the Lewis Countian of the Year.

In lieu of flowers, Mr. Derico asked that donations be made to the Paul and Helen Derico Scholarship Fund at St. Patrick School. Checks can be made payable to the Paul and Helen Derico Scholarship Fund and mailed to St. Patrick School at 224 Center Ave. Weston, WV 26452.

 Family and friends will gather at Pat Boyle Funeral Home and Cremation Service located at 144 Hackers Creek Rd. in Jane Lew from 3-8 p.m. on Monday, May 18, 2020. Graveside Services will be held at Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens located at 2397 US Hwy 19 N in Jane Lew at 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 with Very Reverend James R. DeViese Jr. officiating. Interment will follow.

 We, at Pat Boyle Funeral Home and Cremation Service, are honored and privileged to serve the family of Paul J. Derico. Online condolences may be expressed at www.PatBoyleFuneralHome.com.

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