Cover photo for Derek Tetlow's Obituary
Derek Tetlow Profile Photo
1943 Derek 2020

Derek Tetlow

December 23, 1943 — August 17, 2020

Derek Tetlow was a man of kindness, intelligence and an admirer of all things mechanical. He was born in Manchester, England, to his parents, Sidney and Edith. Derek had one brother, Sidney, who was his best friend.

Derek excelled in mathematics and thus received a full-ride scholarship to Birmingham University. Upon graduation with a degree in mechanical engineering, Derek began a temporary job in Detroit, Michigan. He met and married his first wife, Judy Symonds, with whom he had four boys: Wayne, Nicholas, Jacob and Alex. Derek worked for General Motors, and seeing his potential, GM sponsored him in the Sloan program at Stanford where he earned his Master’s Degree in Business. Several years later, Derek moved to Manhattan Beach, California, to begin work at Nissan Motor Corporation as Director of Product Engineering Support. Derek and Judy eventually divorced. A few years later, Derek met Cheryl Brown, and they married in 1985. Another son, Matthew, was born into the Tetlow clan.

Derek owned a beautiful sailboat and shared with his family the love of sailing and the ocean. Weekends were often spent sailing to Catalina Island, building furniture or restoring his MG. After retirement, the decision was made to move to a quieter life on Bainbridge Island. Living on the island was full of new experiences.

In 2010 Derek, a type 1 diabetic, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s with dementia and then in 2013 prostate cancer. Derek passed away on August 17, 2020. Derek is survived by his wife, Cheryl; his first wife, Judy; five sons, their wives; and thirteen grandchildren, Wayne and Denise with Austin; Brianna and Collette; Nick and Heather with Ben; Max and Juliet; Jacob and Kristin with Steven; Blake, Courtney and Dustin; Alex and Keri with Emma; Paige and Chase; Matthew and his fiancée, Cecilia.

Derek was the patriarch of a large and close-knit family and he considered himself the most fortunate man in the world. We, his family, were blessed beyond measure to have him in our lives.

Due to COVID-19 concerns, a funeral will not be held. The Michael J. Fox Foundation or The Human Brain and Spinal Fluid Resource Center at UCLA would appreciate donations.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Derek Tetlow, please visit our flower store.


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