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Old 07-24-2009   #191
wbromley's Avatar
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 7
I didn't know Derk, although my brother was friends and classmates with him down at Mines. My condolences goes out to his friends and family. RIP Derk.

Bill Bromley

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Old 07-24-2009   #192
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 41

Derk took me down my first run thru Gore Canyon, I was really nervous and just showed up to the put in by myself, it ended up being five paddlers that day, some were skeptical of me since it was my first time I guess, but Derk insisted right away of showing me all the lines, and he did patiently and kindly help me down my first GORE run rapid by rapid, this is a horrible tragedy, period, and I pray for his family, so sad. What a great and kind person. Tribute run for Derk down the Big South. My name is Justin Berger call me if anyone is interested in Big South sometime next week 970-673-6097, for Derk. Billy call me or have Marty if he paddles.

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Old 07-25-2009   #193
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kittredge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 62
I'm so sorry for your loss....

I'd been reading Counts post for as long as can remember, but it never dawned on me that this was a 21 year old guy! I was shocked to see a guy so young who had accomplished so much. I'm also amazed at the amount of lives this one person touched.

A friend at work today was telling me about the service last night (he's a neighbor of the family), and even though I never had the privilage to bump into him on the river, you almost can't help but feel you know this guy. He sounds like he was a wonderful individual and his parents should be proud of the kind of person he was, as well as the man he was turning into. I feel there is a great loss in the world now. You hate to see people like this leave this world so young when they had so much more to do and give. It sounds like he gave more in his short life than most give in a fully lived ones.

I'm so sorry for you loss, for the family and all the others that crossed his path. I've experienced loss of a loved one, and it's one of the worst feelings in the world, you wouldn't wish it on your enemies, but knowing that he died surrounded by beauty, friends and with the joy of being on the river seems to balance it a bit.

The boating community is small, and for the most part, I've never met a boater I didn't connect with right away. The love of the river binds us all. It's our happy place. I'm just sorry I never got to meet this person. His short life reminds me I still have a lot to do, and to also remember what is really important.

I hope that when my time comes, I'm remembered as fondly as he is.

My condolences....
I choose the road less traveled. Now where the hell am I?
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Old 07-25-2009   #194
I kayak DH.
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Greater tri cities metro area, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 794
My wife & I went to the memorial for Derk last night, all I can say is WOW. If you thought he was an amazing person because of the few aspects of him that you saw on the river or wherever else, there was so much more. It was really great to see the outrageous number of people there, truly amazing that that kind of service was for a 21 year old, he had a life filled with more than most could hope to accomplish in much more time. The amount of giving that he did is an example to all of us.

A truly great guy!
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Old 07-27-2009   #195
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Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 208

Derk was an amazing person who was always positive. I'm so sad he is gone. Although he's gone he will never be forgotten. The memories of you will live in my heart forever. You will be missed by all who knew you and you're incredible personality. Your enthusiasm for life and kayaking was contagious and will always inspire me to be more like you. I couldn't believe the amount of people at Keystone that showed up to celebrate your life. I can hardly believe you were only 21 and how many lives you touched. We will be putting up a memorial dedicated to you and I couldn't think of anyone that deserves one more. From here on out I will "DO IT 4 DERK", Rest in Peace Derk
Troy Harcourt
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Old 07-27-2009   #196
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
I have to say I was amazed at the turnout in Keystone as well. Amazing person in every way.
"Yesterday I was clever and tried to change the world. Today I am wise and try to change myself." -Rumi
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Old 07-27-2009   #197
Avon, co Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 36
CSM kayak club is what got me through Engineering school

Originally Posted by grandboater View Post
Dirk was a great person. I knew him through the CSM Kayak Club. Dirk was a huge asset to the kayak club, whether serving as president, leading trips, teaching at pool sessions or heading up the Spring Icebreaker Race. His enthusiasm for the river was contagious and everyone in the club admired and respected him. I am sure the CSM Kayak Club will be very willing to contribute to this memorial.

Jim Horan
I never knew dirk but I can tell you that the CSM kayak club is one of the most close-knit school organizations ever and I greatly respect dirk for being a former president of the club. I graduated MINES in 2005 before dirk was there and I can say that I would most certaintly not have completed engineering school there if it weren't for the kayak club. The kayak club represents the cool outgoing 2.5% of the school. We pulled off trips there that to this day are my most memorable expierences on the river. driving to west virgina, and northern cali twice for spring break. renting a van with club funds. a truly incredible club that stuck out as funky river people in the sea of nerds at the school of mines. It is with incredible pride that I heard that dirk was a leader of this club.
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Old 07-28-2009   #198
Keizer, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 28
I was just on American Whitewater and noticed that no one has posted Derek's accident. Could someone with specific information please make a report?
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Old 08-18-2009   #199
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ebbing, flowing..., CO, NM
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 239
I just stumbled upon this thread, & am struck by how such a small, simple thing can turn a hero to dust in 3min... I did not know Derk, but my heart goes out to him & his family nonetheless. I am reminded of a good friend & long time boater Gonzo... some of you may have know him from the Arkansas, the Salt, the Rio Grande in TX, or any number of other Rivers... an old schooler, he was also well Loved, & though he made it to his 50's, his death was also a shocker to the boating community. A brain anurism while driving through NM... that simple. And I myself, though alive & well, just abruptly ended my river season by finding a rut in a dirt road in the dark & in an instant broke my ankle... I think what I am trying to say here, is that life is fragile... we are all so delicatly mortal... & Life is ours to Live! I am so greatfull that I jumped out of my raft during the photo rapid that afternoon... I almost didn't. But you never know what day will be your last... Life is meant to be Lived!!! Live it to it's fullest! Take the oportunitues that knock, and create them where there are none. Don't be afraid to laugh or cry, tell your Loved ones you Love them, eat that piece of chocolate cake, and catch that one last surf... Live, while you have Life! <3
It sounds to me like Derk was one who Lived...
Journeys of a River Mamma Blog "Ever onward, ever forward, ever down the River!"- Ed Abbey
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Old 08-18-2009   #200
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
And I myself, though alive & well, just abruptly ended my river season by finding a rut in a dirt road in the dark & in an instant broke my ankle... I think what I am trying to say here, is that life is fragile..
Thought maybe you were trying to tell us to carry a flashlight.

"Yesterday I was clever and tried to change the world. Today I am wise and try to change myself." -Rumi
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