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Derek Michael Deutscher

February 19, 1984 ~ May 25, 2022 (age 38)


Derek Michael Deutscher was born on February 19, 1984, in Mammoth Lakes, California. He passed away on May 25, 2022, in a plane crash in Show Low, Arizona. He was the most vibrant, loving, kind person many of us have ever known and we are forever changed by his death.

An avid athlete, Derek loved baseball (Go Dodgers!), winter sports, water sports, golf, mountain biking, Crossfit, and shooting hoops in the backyard with his step-son-to-be, Geller. His parents installed a love of outdoors in him from a young age. He was a rugged outdoorsman who loved backpacking, camping, hiking, hunting, and had a strong appreciation for the beauty of nature around him. Derek loved traveling and had seen a good amount of the world and wanted to explore the rest for as long as he was alive. He had a semi-photographic memory and bragged jokingly that the photo albums of his experiences were stored in his head.

People were important to Derek and he made sure to let them know. Derek called his drive home from work his phone call hour and would call friends he’d acquired over the years to check in and stay connected. He loved sending messages and funny videos to friends and family on Instagram and spent the rest of his free phone time playing chess with friends or reading the news. He could have a conversation with anyone about anything and rarely talked about himself. He wanted to know about you and how you were doing. He mourned with those who mourned and celebrated with those who celebrated. It is no wonder he had so many friends and was adored by everyone, and his passing has left a void that will never be filled.

Family was important to Derek. He adored and respected his dad and wanted to make him proud. He became a Geotechnical Engineer because he wanted to do just what his dad did. He was protective of his mom, loved her food making skills, and said he learned a lot of his “’isms” from her. He loved his little sister and was so proud of her achievements in graduating from FIDM. He loved hearing “Hey, Bro,” when he called her, and often said she was the sweetest person he knew.

He was looking forward to starting a family of his own and took being a step-dad to his “buddy” seriously, teaching Geller how to fix things, clean things, have fun, and treat his mom well. He was the best partner a woman could ask for and would ask “how can I make your day better?”, even when I was already having a good day, and then he’d do what I suggested. He often came home with hand-picked wild-flowers or burritos because I loved them. He was the standard by which all husbands, sons, brothers, dads, and friends should measure themselves.

Derek is survived by his father and mother, Dwayne and Michelle Deutscher, his sister, Danielle Deutscher, his soon to be brother-in-law, Joe Espino, his fiancé, Megan Freestone, his step-son-to-be, Geller Malone, and his faithful companion, Jameson the dog. Rest in peace, Sweet Man. Till we meet again.


You can still show your support by sending flowers directly to the family, or by planting a memorial tree in the memory of Derek Michael Deutscher
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