“I hauled off and died and was buried three days later.”
-- Ezell Derricks (aka King/Sky King)
Above is the full obituary that Mr. Derricks prepared for himself. If you really knew him, then you know that he believed one’s life and deeds should speak for them beyond the grave. He was right.
Ezell Derricks, born July 2, 1927 in Forrest, Mississippi, relocated himself to Champaign-Urbana as a child and never left.
A man who openly expressed the love of God through service, Mr. Derricks faithfully served the St. Luke C.M.E Church in a variety of official and unofficial capacities for more than 70 years. For many years he was the one to open and close the church for services (meaning he was always present) and could regularly be found there praying, singing, landscaping, fixing things, offering advice, and doing his best to honor God through service. Even as his health failed, he faithfully participated in online worship services and continued his financial support of the ministry.
Mr. Derricks was a revered heavy equipment operator for many years, known in the field as "King" and "Sky King" due to his dexterity in maneuvering steel beams and other heavy loads in tight spaces. He was a proud, long-time member of Local 841 of the International Union of Operating Engineers where he remained active as a retiree. Desiring to be a more hands-on father, Mr. Derricks entered public service to the State of Illinois where he served on the Road Corps, responsible for the evaluation and maintenance of roadways throughout the State. He took pride in creating and extending opportunities for employment and advancement to those who had previously been shut out and retired after more than two decades. In retirement, he was an active grandparent, and served as a landlord and provider of high-quality, low-cost housing to families in need.
Left to mourn his passing are his beloved wife, Delores Derricks of Urbana; daughter, Joyce Lyvette Derricks of Atlanta, Georgia; sons: Alan Scott Derricks, Stefon Cobb, Anthony Cobb (Tamme), Domonic Cobb (Nicole) of Champaign; Steven Cobb of Bronx, New York, and Kendric Cobb of Chicago; grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and a host of friends.
Mr. Derricks looks forward to reuniting with his many loved ones who have gone home before him but will be missed and remembered fondly by the many who were blessed by his life dedicated to love and service. Mr. Derricks is requesting in lieu of flowers donations be made to St. Luke’s CME church.
Visitation will be held on Saturday April 30th, 2022 at Canaan Missionary Baptist Church 402 W. Main St. Urbana, IL. 61801 from 10-11am with a service to follow at 11am. Mr. Derricks will be interred at Grandview Memorial Gardens 4112 W. Bloomington Rd. Champaign. IL. 61822. Per the family’s request masks will be required for the services.
Please join his family in sharing memories, photos and videos on his tribute wall at www.sunsetfuneralhome.com
Arrangements have been made at Sunset Funeral Home and Cremation Center 710 N. Neil St. Champaign, IL. 61820
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