Dr. M. Elizabeth "Betty" Derrick, Professor Emeritus at Valdosta State University, died March 13, 2016. She was born in Augusta, Georgia, October 11, 1941, to Mildred H. Derrick and J.O. Derrick, both of whom predeceased her. She is survived by her brother Jack Derrick, his wife Dagmar, and their son John, and her brother Fred, his wife Catherine, and their children, Joshua, Justin, Aaron, and Christy.
Dr. Derrick was a chemistry professor who came from a family of professors. She was a graduate of East Carolina University with a BA in Chemistry, Magna Cum Laude, and Emory University where she earned an MS in chemistry and later a PhD, also in Chemistry.
She made physical homes for herself near Valdosta and at the family cabin on the Pamlico River in North Carolina, and spiritual homes at the Valdosta Unitarian Universalist Church and the Rest Haven Sunday School in North Carolina.
She followed in her mother's footsteps as a professor in a field then unusual for women. Her professional accomplishments included serving in national positions with the American Chemical Society and the American Association of University Professors. She also served as chair of the Georgia division of the AAUP.
She was an ardent, frank, and outspoken supporter of causes important to her, her profession, and the world. She travelled widely, was a birding enthusiast, a lover of nature, and a conservationist who read extensively and never lost her love of learning.
Betty was blessed with a large group of professional and social friends who enjoyed her conversation and culinary skills. Betty often said that cooking is applied chemistry, and she was both an expert chemist and an extraordinary cook.
A memorial Service will be held for Betty at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 1951 E Park Ave, Valdosta, GA 31602. The family will receive friends for visitation, at the church, beginning at 2 p.m. until service time. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Valdosta, the Chemistry Departments of Valdosta State University and East Carolina University, the Pamlico-Tar River Foundation, the Legal Defense Fund of the American Association of University Professors, and Hospice of South Georgia.
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