John Walter Dierks of Southbury and formerly of Woodbury, passed away September 19, 2020 surrounded by his family. Walt was born June 12, 1932 the son of the late Herman and Bertha Dierks.
Walter attended New York Public schools. He was a good student, and a great basketball player which earned him a scholarship to Roanoke College in Virginia. As he graduated from College, he was named “All American” in basketball and was offered a position playing professional Basketball for the Minneapolis Lakers, which he turned down in order to start his career. Later during his career, he continued on to earn his MBA from George Washington University.
He entered the Pharmaceutical industry early in his career and remained with Roche Laboratories in multiple positions within the company until he retired in 2001. Residing in Woodbury, CT., at the time of his retirement he was approached by a local school principal to substitute teach. He happily accepted this challenge, having never taught before, and spent the next 12 years, as he described as the “most enjoyable and rewarding job he had ever had”. His work with middle and high school students led him to contrast his experiences at the same age, during World War II growing up in Brooklyn; he decided to write a book on the subject which was published in 2019 “Fragments”.
Walt loved sailing, family outings, reading, learning and The Washington Redskins, as they were called then.
Most of all Walt loved his wife of 65 years, Sue and their two sons John Jeffery and Paul Randall, along with their wives, Karen and Diva, and their 3 grandchildren Siobhan, Tyler and Cody as well as 2 great grandchildren Isabella and Dillon. AKA “Big Pa” loved them all. Also very dear to him was his “kid” brother Bill and his wife Kris along with their daughter and 3 sons and many nieces and nephews, especially Bruce and Shelly Yale.
There will be a private family service on St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Woodbury, CT., followed by interment at New North Cemetery. Due to virus restrictions, a memorial service will be planned for a later date.
Please consider a contribution in Walters’s memory to The Denan Project, in which Walt was a founding member, P.O. Box 543, Woodbury, CT 06798 or www.TheDenanProject.com
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The Denan Project, Inc.
P.O. Box 543, Woodbury CT 06798