Mary “Elizabeth” Derrick was born on Feb. 6, 1920 and was the second child in a family that would eventually boast seven children.
She is the daughter of Frank Hamilton “F.H.” Derrick, Sr. and Mattie Thursa Jordan.
Her father, F.H., was set to start a cattle ranch after spending his entire savings into this endeavor at the start of his marriage a few years earlier. However, economic crisis came early for this small family when the herd was completely wiped out by disease and F.H. was forced into the life of a sharecropper to keep even a little food on the table and enough of a roof over his growing brood.
It was a difficult but mostly happy childhood for Elizabeth, with many lessons for the studious observer to learn, both in her classroom at Alexander and what it takes to survive during the 1920s and 30s, moving almost each year of her young life. She enjoyed swimming at the infamous McDow’s Hole and playing games with her sisters and brothers, when they were not helping their parents with farm chores and tending to their current crop, which more times than not, included cotton.
After a successful high school career in academics and basketball, Elizabeth went on to attend and graduate from Tarleton State College. One of her first jobs after college required an adventurous move across the country to Washington state, where she taught fourth grade. Sooner than later, she made it back to Texas where she settled in Fort Worth with a career in The Securities and Exchange Commission, from which she retired many years later.
Upon retirement, Elizabeth, moved “home” to Stephenville to be near a plethora of family. She was a member of the National Audubon Society, the Erath County Republican Party and Erath County Historical Society. With her love of history, knowledge of business, and an eye for detail, she applied and received marker plaques for the historical significance of several locations around Erath Country. She has been instrumental in researching and recording the Derrick and Jordan family genealogies.
Although Elizabeth was never married, she was an integral part of her large extended family of nieces and nephews, great, and great, greats. She is known for always remembering your birthday, her love of birds, books, and writing letters in her beautiful calligraphy.
Elizabeth credits her longevity to her strong faith in her Savior, Jesus Christ, and eating her vegetables.
We celebrate you, Aunt Elizabeth, on this, your 100th birthday. In the words of Granny Jordan, whom Elizabeth does quote frequently, “[WE] love you more than you’ll ever know!”