A Sacred Moment


Derek Phelps Whitmarsh

September 26, 1932 - January 09, 2017

Gregarious, outgoing and an endless curiosity

Derek Phelps Whitmarsh passed away on January 9 at the age of 84. Derek was gregarious and outgoing and had endless curiosity about fossils, stamps, and history. He was born in Manila, Philippines Islands to Philip Whitmarsh, a British colonial gold miner and Margaret Gallin, an American journalist. He grew up in over 80 different places around the world including the Philippines, Africa, Switzerland, Canada and the United States.

During WWII, he and his family were civilian internees in Japanese prison camps in the Philippines. American forces liberated the camp in the closing days of the war. He attended college at the University of Washington where he met his wife Amaryllis Shanafelt, where both received undergraduate degrees. They were married in 1955 in Seattle where they resided and raised three children. In 1990, Derek retired from 25 years of teaching middle school and relocated to Camano Island, WA to his wife’s family home on the beach. He was an avid rockhound and stamp collector and was an active member of the Skagit and Everett Rock & Gem Clubs.

Derek is lovingly remembered by his wife, daughters Narri Dowd of Goffstown, NH and Sherri Whitmarsh of Austin, TX and his son Ian Whitmarsh of Whidbey Island, WA and two grandsons.


In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to the American Diabetes Association www.diabetes.org or PO Box 15829, Arlington, VA 22215.

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