Dr. Richard (Doc) Franklin Derby, 90, died at Pine Haven Care Center in

Pine Island, Minn., where he had resided since July 2011. Richard

Franklin Derby was born Feb. 24, 1922, in Milton Township, Dodge County,

Minnesota, to Walter and Esther (Alberts) Derby.

During World War II, he served in England and France (participated in

the battle of Normandy) from 1942 through 1945 in the Signal Corp with a

final rank of communications chief. He received the American Service medal,

Good Conduct medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Service medal and World

War II Victory medal.

Although he didn't graduate from high school, it didn't mean that he

hadn't had a thirst for knowledge. He had read the complete set of World

Book Encyclopedias from cover to cover. After the military, he attended and

graduated with an AA degree from Rochester Community College in 1948. He

continued his studies to be an engineer, attending the University of

Minnesota. Because engineers weren't finding employment, he decided to

study at Dunwoody Institute in Minneapolis to be a tool and die maker. He

was one of the first to be employed at the IBM plant in Rochester, Minn.,

when it opened in 1956. He decided to change careers when he enrolled at

Northwestern Chiropractic College in Minneapolis in 1960, where he was a

member of the Nu Eta Chi Honor Society. After completing his studies there,

he was a practicing chiropractor in Rochester.

On Nov. 18, 1966, he married Virginia Buxton at First Baptist Church,

Stewartville, Minn. They lived in Rochester, Stewartville, Canton, S.D.,

Sheldon, Iowa, George, Iowa, Marietta, Ga., and Ashton, Iowa, where he

practiced his profession over a period of 46 years. He was still working

many hours daily as a chiropractor until he was 86 years old when he was

forced to retire due to health reasons. Dr. He was always willing to take

care of his patients whenever they needed help from his healing hands. He

would work around his patients' schedules, whether that would be 5 a.m. or

midnight, on any day of the week, including holidays.

After his marriage, he was very active in the Baptist Church. He was a

Sunday School teacher and also frequently sang duets with his wife at church

services. He was a member of the American Legion in Canton, S.D., and

Ashton, Iowa, for many years. He also belonged to the Minnesota

Chiropractic Association, South Dakota Chiropractic Association, and the

Iowa Chiropratic Association at various times.

He loved to travel with his wife and was an avid reader, especially

books or articles of a scientific nature. He always thought "outside of the

box." He was constantly thinking of how something could be made better,

always inventing. His talents ranged from putting in a water system on the

family farm as a teenager; building a hay bale elevator; inventing a part

for an airplane, a self-adjusting step ladder, and a better chiropractic

adjusting table; as well as ideas as to how to extinguish oilwell fires. He

also had his own unique ideas about better ways to adjust his chiropractic

patients. He was a man of small stature with giant ideas, always saying

that nothing was impossible.

He is survived by two daughters, Sara (Peter Shane) Derby-Burras of

Essex, Vt., and Laura Derby of Los Angeles, Calif.; and one grandchild,

Breanna Derby-Burras. He is also survived by a sister, Shirley Lien of West


He was preceded in death by his wife, Virginia; his parents; brothers,

Charles of Yankton, S.D., Lester of Byron, and Howard of rural West Concord.

The funeral service was held Monday, Nov. 26, at Zwingli United Church

of Christ in Berne, Minn., with the Rev. Victor Jortack officiating.

Interment was in Evergreen Cemetery in Mantorville, with military graveside

services provided by the Kasson American Legion and the Mantorville VFW. A

memorial service was held at Tabernacle Baptist Church, George, Iowa, on

Tuesday, Nov. 27.