H.E. "Buddy" Derrick Jr. died Sept. 5

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Homer Edwin “Buddy” Derrick Jr. died on Sept. 5, 2022, after complications from a fall. He was predeceased by his wife, Martha Louise Robey Derrick, on Aug. 19, 2022.

Buddy was born on April 22, 1931, in Columbia, South Carolina, to Homer and Mabel Beckham Derrick. He earned a business degree from the University of South Carolina through the Naval ROTC program and served in the Navy as a lieutenant. He settled in Lexington, where he began his career at the First National Bank before becoming owner/operator of Lexington Motor Sales for 40 years.

In addition, Buddy served the auto industry as president of the Virginia Automobile Dealers Association, a director of the National Automobile Dealers Association, and treasurer of the NADA Charitable Foundation. He was a Time Magazine Quality Dealer Finalist in 1988.

While Buddy was a successful businessman, he was most admired for his community service to Lexington and Rockbridge County. He served as mayor of Lexington from 1988 to 2000. During his time in office, he helped establish Threshold, a program to acquire and rehabilitate houses for low- to moderate-income families. He was also instrumental in the formation of the Virginia Horse Center and the consolidated Lexington/Rockbridge County High School.

Among many other civic activities, he served as chairman of the board of Stonewall Jackson/Carilion Rockbridge Community Hospital, and as president of the Lexington/Rockbridge Chamber of Commerce. In 2001, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree by Washington and Lee University for promoting cooperation between the city and W&L.

Buddy and Martha Lou were married for 52 years. They were well-known and loved for their gracious Southern hospitality, love of friends and family, and generous support of private and public efforts to assist those in need. Together they owned the College Town Shop, where they dressed generations of loyal customers. They loved to learn and travel. They attended numerous seminars and visited many countries through W&L’s Lifelong Learning program. Above all, Buddy was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and friend to innumerable people from all walks of life. He truly earned his nickname!

Buddy is survived by his six children: Beth Derrick Wofford (John), Lisa King Stratienko, Catherine Derrick Baker (Tom), Beth King Williams (Emmett), Clark King, and Ellison Derrick Robinson (Clay). He was beloved “Skeebo” to 13 grandchildren: John and Ellison Wofford, Maria Louise and Analisa Stratienko, Richard Baker and Lissie Baker Ayorinde (Seyi), Emma Williams Fetty (Joe), Carolina King Rider (Dustin), Claire and Corinne King, and Henry, Meredith and Sam Robinson; and several nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his sisters Jeanne Derrick Morris and Mary Derrick Calvo, and his parents. Although he accomplished many things in his life, his greatest legacy remains his family and the unconditional love we share with one another.

A memorial service for Buddy and Martha Lou will be held on Thursday, Sept. 22, at 1 p.m. at Lexington Presbyterian Church,

120 S. Main St
. A reception will follow.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Project Horizon,

120 Varner Lane, Lexington VA 24450
; Rockbridge Community Health Foundation,
1 Health Circle, Lexington VA 24450
; or a charity of your choice.


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