Derek W. Van Slyck ’79 died September 20, 2018 in Plymouth, Massachusetts
(The following was provided by his family.)
Derek Wilder Van Slyck
July 31, 1956 – September 20, 2018
It is with great sadness that the family of Derek Van Slyck announces his passing on September 20, 2018. A private service was held at the Union Cemetery in Little Compton, Rhode Island. A gathering to celebrate his life will be held in Little Compton on July 20, 2019.
Derek was born in Boston, Massachusetts to Nicholas and Anita (Wilder) Van Slyck. The family lived in Dedham where Derek attended Nobles and Greenough School. In high school, Derek was a twelve-time winner of varsity letters (in football, hockey, and lacrosse) and captained teams in all three sports. Along with his early success in sports, Derek was a gifted artist and exceptional jazz pianist. At Bowdoin College, Derek continued to play lacrosse and hockey while pursuing his love of art and music. He graduated magna cum laude in 1980, earning a degree in Visual Arts. After graduating, Derek was able to continue doing what he loved – creating art and playing music – until the time of his death. He played piano in multiple jazz ensembles for decades and produced hundreds of oil paintings and other works of art.
Derek had a playful sense of humor, was straightforward, kind and grateful. He enriched the lives of those he touched by simply being true to his creative spirit and unique character.
Derek leaves his mother, Anita Smith, of Little Compton, RI; his sister, Tena, and husband, Ted Hartwig, of College Station, TX; and his brother, Pieter, and wife, Marie Van Slyck, of Duxbury, MA. He is also survived by his half-sister, Jennifer, and husband, Carl Wieting, of Providence, RI, and step-siblings Brooks TotlebenSmith, Taylor Smith and wife, Michelle, Lann Welsh, Nathan Smith and wife, Natcha, and Margo Rush and husband, Kevin. He leaves his step-mother, Trudi Van Slyck of Cambridge, MA, and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews. He was predeceased by his father, Nicholas Van Slyck, and step-father, V. Carlisle Smith