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Obituary Listings

Derek Wellnitz

August 6, 1973 July 12, 2017
Derek Wellnitz
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Obituary for Derek Wellnitz

Derek Henry Wellnitz was born on August 6, 1973, to Duane “Red” and Mary (Petermann) Wellnitz in Elbow Lake, Minnesota. He attended West Central High School in Elbow Lake and enjoyed playing tennis, football, and singing in the choir. After his graduation, he went to Fergus Falls Community College, graduating with an Associate’s Degree in Law Enforcement. He then went to Hibbing Community College for the Minnesota Peace Officer Standards and Training program. From 1993-1995, he was a part-time peace officer in Russell and Lynd, Minnesota and also worked part-time as a police officer for Balaton and Garvin, Minnesota. Following his time there, he was a police officer for the city of Tyler, Minnesota from 1995-1998. In 1998, he began working as a Deputy Sherriff in Pipestone and in 2005 he became a Patrol Sergeant in Pipestone. In 2000, at a good friend’s wedding, Derek met Melany Geske and the two dated for eight years. They were united in marriage on August 16, 2008, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Jasper, Minnesota. On May 23, 2016, Derek went into End Stage Renal Failure which caused him to need peritoneal dialysis on a daily basis. On July 3, 2017, he received a living donor kidney transplant from his cousin Henry. Due to complications with his body’s acceptance of the kidney, Derek passed away suddenly on Wednesday, July 12, 2017, at the Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota at the age of 43 years, 11 months, and six days.

Derek was a person who loved the outdoors and helping people. He was a past Vice President of Pheasants Forever (running the varmint board with Red & Mary), a member of the Woodlawn Tree Board in Pipestone, a member of the Pipestone Kiwanis, and a lifetime member of the NRA. He was a great teacher and was knowledgeable in many walks of life, but he was especially skilled in weapons and weapon training. His love for the outdoors was known by all. He spent many hours hunting, fishing, and being with “the boys,” his furry children, Patton and Rommel. He appreciated wildlife paintings and sculptures. Derek collected and displayed many Terry Redlin paintings and decorated their home with antlers and various taxidermied creatures. His father (who preceded him in death in March of this year) passed down his enjoyment of coin collecting, as well as his love of country, which led Derek to be a member of the Sons of the American Legion. Most of all Derek was a person who wanted everyone to have what they needed and be fairly treated. Whether it was handing a stuffed animal from his patrol car to a child in a tough situation or taking Melany out on an impromptu drive or date, Derek loved to do it. He had the biggest heart and he will be missed by many.

Derek is lovingly remembered by his wife of eight years, Melany, of Pipestone; his fur babies, Patton and Rommel; his mother, Mary, of Elbow Lake, Minnesota; siblings, Dorene (Scott) Green of Elbow Lake, Duane “Dewey” (Judy) Wellnitz of Portland, Oregon, and Debra (Bob) Stach of Elbow Lake; and many aunts, uncles, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his father, Duane “Red” Wellnitz; two furry friends, Blitzkrieg and Recon; and his maternal and paternal grandparents.

Previous Events

Visitation

Sunday

16

Jul

5:00 PM 7/16/2017 5:00:00 PM - 9:00 PM 7/16/2017 9:00:00 PM
St. Leo Catholic Church - Pipestone

415 S. Hiawatha Ave
Pipestone, MN 56164

St. Leo Catholic Church - Pipestone
415 S. Hiawatha Ave Pipestone 56164 MN
United States

Prayer Service

Sunday

16

Jul

8:30 PM 7/16/2017 8:30:00 PM
St. Leo Catholic Church - Pipestone

415 S. Hiawatha Ave
Pipestone, MN 56164

St. Leo Catholic Church - Pipestone
415 S. Hiawatha Ave Pipestone 56164 MN
United States

Mass of Christian Burial

Monday

17

Jul

10:30 AM 7/17/2017 10:30:00 AM
St. Leo Catholic Church - Pipestone

415 S. Hiawatha Ave
Pipestone, MN 56164

St. Leo Catholic Church - Pipestone
415 S. Hiawatha Ave Pipestone 56164 MN
United States
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