Alan Wendell Derthick
Alan Wendell Derthick, 90, passed away at his home on Signal Mountain on September 8, 2021. Those of us who knew Alan will remember him as one of the most generous, humble, creative and hardworking people weve met.
Alan was born in 1931 to Lawrence and Helda Hannah Derthick in Johnson City Tennessee. He moved to Chattanooga at eleven when his father, Lawrence G. Derthick, was appointed Superintendent of city schools. That same year, Alan made his profession of faith and was baptized by his grandfather and role model, Henry J. Derthick.
Alan attended local public schools in Chattanooga before spending his junior and senior years at Munich American High School in Germany, where his father served as Chief of the Education Branch of Military Government following World War II.
Alan studied engineering at the University of Chattanooga, then transferred to Auburn, where he earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree. After graduation, he volunteered for the Air Force and served two years at Biggs Air Force base in El Paso. Upon returning to Chattanooga, Alan established an architectural practice with fellow classmate Carroll Henley (and later Bill Wilkerson). While Carroll led design, Alan took the lead in client relations. Alan had a knack for listening to client needs and creating a design that met them. Their firm designed many award-winning buildings including the Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Library, Hamilton County Courts Building, Alexian Village, and many buildings on the UTC campus.
Alan was a lifelong member of First Christian Church in Chattanooga. He served on most of the church committees, chaired many of them, and served a record four terms as president of the congregation. He was viewed as a leader in the congregation and used his talents as a peacemaker to resolve conflicts when they occurred.
Alan followed his mother as a member of the board of Florence Crittenton Services and, while serving as president of the board, participated in the formation of Family and Children's Services. He helped begin the Sister City Association of Chattanooga and, while president, was active in forging relationships with Hamm, Germany and Wuxi, China. Alan served on the Chancellor's Roundtable at UTC, and was a board member of the University of Chattanooga Foundation. He was on the board of the Cherokee Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and a lifelong member of the Chattanooga Kiwanis Club.
A staple of Alans early years was attending YMCA Family Camp each summer at Lake Ocoee. There he met and fell in love with Jane Bailey. They married in 1958 and had two sons, Mark Alan and Steven John. Alan and Jane devoted great time and effort to providing the best medical care available for Mark, who had cystic fibrosis. They were instrumental, along with other parents, in organizing a local chapter of The Cystic Fibrosis Research Foundation. Alan and Jane were married for 51 years until Jane's death in 2009.
In 2013, Alan married Ann Cowart Reynolds and they were happily married for six years until her death in 2019. Alan was warmly welcomed into the family by Anns son Britt, daughter Paige, their spouses and children, and considered them family for the rest of his life.
Alan is preceded in death by his son Mark and his brother Lawrence. He is survived by his sister Louann Holland, her husband Reuben, sister-in-law Susan (Miller) Derthick, son Steve Derthick, daughters-in-law Barbara (Warmath) Derthick and Memory (Smith) Derthick, grandchildren Ian, Joel, Anna Latiff and husband Alex, surrogate grandchildren Areli Pilcher and Julieta Hernandez, great grandson Angelo Latiff, many nieces and nephews, and by Alans extended beloved Bailey family.
Family and friends are invited to remember Alan on Saturday, October 2nd at First Christian Church, 650 McCallie Avenue, with visitation from 3:00-4:00pm and a celebration of life service at 4:00pm. Both events will be outdoors under a tent on the west lawn of the church. The family invites everyone to dress cool and comfortably for the weather. Those unable to attend may watch the service live on the Facebook page of First Christian Church.
The family would like to express special appreciation to Deanna Beckett, Alex Latiff, Dr. Terry Melvin, Nurse Gabby Erwin, and Hospice of Chattanooga for their extraordinary love and care for Alan. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.