Derek was born Jan 14, 1972 in Salt Lake City, Utah; he died Dec 31, 2017. The family moved to St. George in July 1976 when Derek was 4; he lived here in St. George his entire life. He graduated from Dixie High School in 1990. He was a super athlete, specializing in football and wrestling. The bonds of friendship that he made during these years remained strong throughout his life. The love of sports that he developed during these years became an integral part of Derek. It was during his high school sports years that he was given the nickname of “Big D.” He was known by this nickname from there on out and even now is referred to as “Uncle D” to his 17 nieces and nephews. At the age of 19 he fulfilled a mission for the LDS church in Columbus, Ohio from the years 1991-1993. He was known as the “gentle giant” by his mission president; he served an honorable mission and loved the people of Ohio.
He attended Dixie College and played football there for 1 year before venturing into the business of sports cards and used books. He was the manager of Doc’s Book Loft for 19 years. This job gave him much fulfillment and joy as he was able to mingle with customers and form an undeniable bond with his dad over used and valuable books, in which they were both viewed as experts in the field. Often times people would travel into town specifically to have him appraise books and given opinions on their worth.
He had nicknames for everyone and loved to joke and laugh. Derek had his own lingo; he could often be heard saying expressions like: ‘I’m a Dixie Flyer, through and through!’, ‘Geez chickster!’ and referring to family and friends as ‘honey’ or ‘buddy.’
He developed many passions in life, which shaped the way he lived. Some of these included: Dixie High School and its sports programs, BYU football, Jazz basketball, Dallas Cowboys, 80’s rock music, comic books, super hero stories, Star Wars, being a movie enthusiast, fiction novels, love of his nieces and nephews, gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter day saints and the obscure doctrinal facts about the religion, politics, Fox News, and dining out with his mom and sisters. In the last few years of his life, he could be seen around St. George on his Jazzy listening to rock music through his headphones as he traveled to and from appointments. Although he had health issues, he never lost his lust for life and positive attitude.
Derek was one of a kind. His unique personality, sense of humor and love of life will be greatly missed by his family and friends.
Derek is preceded in death by his father, McKay Donald Christian and his nephew, Burkley McKay Hansen. He is survived by his mother, Kay Leslie Christian, and sisters: Darcie (Alton) Chamberlain, Rachel (Matthew) Andrew, Tamara (Clinton) Hansen, Toni (Peter) Brown, and Laura (Josiah D) Shrout and multiple nieces and nephews.
Funeral service will be held Thursday, January 4, 2018 at 11:00am at the St. George 16th Ward Chapel located at 550 E. 700 S., St. George, Utah 84790. Viewings will be Wednesday, January 3rd from 6:00-8:00pm and January 4th prior to services from 9:30-10:45am at the same location.