ASHEBORO — Leo Derrick, Jr. of Asheboro died on Tuesday, November 20, 2012.
Son of E. L. Derrick, Sr. and Etah Swygert Derrick, both of Chadbourn, he attended Oak Ridge Military Institute and graduated from Wake Forest University where he studied and received a degree in journalism and served on the school's newspaper, The Old Gold and Black. He was vice president of the Publications Board and vice president of the student body in 1949, earning selection to Omicron Delta Kappa, national leadership fraternity. He served in the Army where he played semi-pro baseball.
Following graduation he co-owned and was editor of the weekly Columbus County News in Chadbourn and received the community's Man of the Year Award in the 1950s. He accepted a position in Boone in 1957 to promote the outdoor drama, Horn in the West. He then became director of the town's chamber of commerce.
While in Boone, Leo co-founded and was the first secretary of the Blue Ridge Parkway Association. He entered television with WFMY-TV in Greensboro as promotion manager, beginning a long and distinguished career in the medium. He was one of three broadcasters to put WGHP-TV in High Point on the air in 1963 as its first promotion manager, leaving after 18 years to take over as station manager for what it is now WXLV-TV in Winston-Salem.
When WXLV-TV changed ownership, he spent five years with a Greensboro advertising agency before returning to WGHP-TV in sales as Director of New Business Development. He was chosen Man of the Year for the Piedmont Triad Advertising Club in the 1970s. He won an award from the ABC Television Network in the 1960s for creative promotion work.
He and his family have resided in Asheboro since 1960 where he was active in the civic and religious life of the community. He was an active member of Asheboro Rotary and received the Paul Harris Award. He participated in hospital fund drives and on other community boards.
A life-long Presbyterian, he served as an officer and on numerous committees in each church in which he held membership, Chadbourn Presbyterian, Boone Presbyterian and First Presbyterian of Asheboro. He served 14 years as a member of the Board of Trustees for Presbyterian Home of High Point. He served the Asheboro church in number capacities. He served as elder deacon, youth advisor and Sunday school teacher. He was an active member of the Westminster Class.
He was recipient of the outstanding service award for service to the Mentally Ill and recognized for distinguished service as a member of the board of directors of the Randolph County Mental Health Association.
After retirement from WGHP-TV in 1992, he returned to writing and won first place in a contest sponsored by the Carolinas Reporters Association. In May, 2009, he was given an award by the Ad Penfield/RCS golf classic. Derrick was an original member of the NC Golf Panel.
He was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed all sports with his sons and grandson.
He is survived by his wife, Pat C. Derrick. Sons, Leo Derrick III and wife Tricia of Asheboro, Charlie S. Derrick and wife Mary Alice of Asheboro and Mike C. Derrick of Pittsboro. Grandchildren Carter Derrick and wife Lisa of Wilmington, Sarahbeth Derrick of Greensboro, Margaret Beck and husband Kent of Asheboro, Rebecca Derrick of Greensboro, great-grandchildren Clay, Crew and Clara Derrick. A memorial service will be held at First Presbyterian Church in Asheboro at 1 p.m. Friday, November 23. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Carolina Living and Learning Center 325 Russet Run Drive Pittsboro, NC 27312 and First Presbyterian Church, 420 W. Walker Ave., Asheboro, NC 27203.
Pugh Funeral Home in Asheboro is serving the Derrick family. Please share remembrances and condolences at www.pughfuneralhome.com/