Richard “DuWayne” Derickson, 74, passed away on Sunday, August 29, 2021, in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. He was born on October 2, 1946, in Crandon, Wisconsin, to Alfred Derickson and Rita Derickson (neé Richards). DuWayne graduated from Crandon High School in 1964 and went on to play varsity football and basketball at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. DuWayne was a proud Vietnam veteran and Army Airborne Ranger. He entered military service in 1967 and bravely served two full year tours in combat as an infantry commander. He earned the rank of Captain and was awarded multiple honors and medals, including the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm and Bronze Star Medals.
DuWayne earned his Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Being a true Army Ranger, DuWayne approached everything in life with the same warrior attitude in which nothing was impossible if he gave it his all. He wore many professional hats during his lifetime, including real estate sales, running his own businesses as a coast-to-coast OTR truck driver, cattle farming, logging and timber cruising, and raising bluetick coonhounds. He taught himself computer technology skills when the first PC’s became available in the 1980’s, going on to teach others at local colleges and eventually establishing his own computer administration business.
DuWayne was best known for his college football coaching career. He trained the offensive line at UW- Stevens Point into a group of men that led the team to a national championship in 1987. He was fondly called “Digger” or “Cowboy” by fellow coaches and past football teammates. He was known for his dedication and all or nothing attitude, holding himself and his athletes to a high standard of personal excellence. He later took his coaching expertise and leadership to the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh as the Offensive Coordinator and assisted the football program to a winning season after an eleven-year losing streak. He was also the Sports Information Director and Offensive Coordinator at Triton College in Illinois, mentoring and coaching his players to go on to play Division I football. DuWayne was most passionate about teaching and passing on his vast knowledge to his own children and grandchildren, proudly supporting their accomplishments in athletics, academics, and forensics, and never missed a game or meet if he could help it. He spent countless early mornings, evenings, and weekends on basketball courts, football fields, in backyards and driveways, coaching his own children and grandchildren towards athletic excellence.
DuWayne was dedicated to helping others with a heart for the disadvantaged. Later in his life he worked as Tribal Planner for the Sokaogon Chippewa Tribe and helped them develop essential infrastructure as well as their own gaming facility. He served as the representative for the eleven tribes in negotiations with the Thompson administration in support of tribal gaming. DuWayne advocated the most for area tribes to protect their reservations, natural resources, and ancestry by fiercely helping them block the Exxon mining operation.
DuWayne was preceded in death by his mother, Rita (Joseph) Singer; his father, Alfred Derickson; stepmother, Bette Derickson (neé Steele); stepfather, Joseph Singer; and nephew, Alfred Lee Derickson. He is survived by his wife, Cindi Kain-Derickson; his sister, Joyce (Lloyd) Ernisse; brother, Alfred (Debra) Derickson; and brother, Joseph R. Singer. Also surviving are his children Trace (Jeff) Palubicki, Ashley Miller-Derickson (Brendan Gentz), Barry Derickson, Bria Derickson (Clay) Pierce, Blake Derickson, and Blythe Derickson; the mothers of his children, Mary “Marlene”(Ron) Zach and Lynn (Mitch) Christian; his stepchildren, Cory Stenike (Jennifer Andrews), Jamie (Jason) Holen, and Mandie (Pat) Barber; his grandchildren, Rodney Palubicki, Jaydin Campbell, and Bryson McVay; his nieces Peggy (Eric) Davis, Laurie (Dean) Daul, Jill (Tom) Leopold, Tammy Derickson, and Arianna Singer; nephews Charlie Derickson and Denver Singer; as well as many great nieces, nephews, grandchildren.
A funeral service will be held on Thursday, September 2, 2021, at 12:00 p.m. at the Spooner Funeral Home, where visitation will be held from 11:00 a.m. until the hour of the service. Interment with military honors will follow at 1:00 p.m. at the Northern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Spooner.
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