BROOKFIELD, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Raymond A. Derda, 74, of Brookfield, Ohio, passed away Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Cleveland Clinic Main Campus.
Mr. Derda was born October 30, 1946, in Erie, Pennsylvania, the only son of the late Raymond J. and Irene (Wiltman) Derda.
He was a 1964 graduate of Kane (Pennsylvania) High School and immediately enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. Raymond served during the Vietnam War, earning the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and a Purple Heart.
Following his honorable discharge, he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Comprehensive Social Studies with a Civil War concentration from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. Later, He received another bachelor’s degree from Youngstown State University.
Ray was employed as a teacher at Lordstown High School, Lordstown, Ohio. Throughout his tenure at the school, he taught geography, history, astronomy, science, economics, flight and avionics, oceanography and ran the planetarium.
Ray was a member of St. Joseph’s Church, Sharon, Pennsylvania.
He was also a lifetime member of Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and the Military Order of the Purple Heart.
He enjoyed ham radio and taking photographs and videos. Raymond was also fascinated with aviation and loved to film from hot air balloons. His awe of the universe led him to view the stars and planets via his telescopes.
Ray is survived by his wife, the former Pamela Potts, whom he married June 19, 1971; a son, Torrey Derda and his wife, Melissa, of Masury, Ohio; two grandsons, Raymond and Konner Derda and his adopted grandchildren, Annie and Hunter, along with many cousins.
The family suggests memorials be directed to either Development and Donor Relations Department of Shriners Hospital for Children- Erie, 1645 West 8th Street, Erie PA 16505; or the Wounded Warrior Project, at www.woundedwarriorproject.org.
All services are private.
Interment will be in St. Rose Cemetery, Hermitage.
Arrangements are being handled by the J. Bradley McGonigle Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc. Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.McGonigleFuneralHomeandCrematory.com.
A television tribute will air Tuesday, May 4 at the following approximate times: 7:10 a.m. on FOX, 12:22 p.m. on WKBN, 5:08 p.m. on MyYTV and 7:27 p.m. on WYTV.