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Emeritus Trustee Dr. Fletcher C. Derrick Jr., 86, passes



Dr. Fletcher C. Derrick Jr.
Dr. Fletcher C. Derrick Jr.

Clemson University Emeritus Trustee Dr. Fletcher C. Derrick Jr., 86, died Monday, March 9, 2020.

A native of Johnston, Dr. Derrick graduated from Clemson with a Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine in 1954. In 1958, he earned his medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina.

Dr. Derrick was elected to the Clemson University board of trustees in 1980. He had been a member of the Clemson Fellows Donors Club and was the recipient of a Distinguished Alumni Award in 1973.

“Dr. Fletcher Derrick will long be remembered not only as an outstanding leader for Clemson, but also as a pioneer in the medical field, as a veteran and as an artist,” said Clemson University President James P. Clements. “He was a true Renaissance man, and he will be missed by many in the Clemson family.”

Dr. Derrick had been a clinical professor of urology at the Medical University of South Carolina, where he helped start the kidney transplant program. He was also a professor and chairman of the Department of Urology at the George Washington Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Derrick was a consultant to the surgeon general of the U.S. Army and served on medical missions to Nepal and Nigeria.

Dr. Derrick served in the Army Medical Corps in Germany from 1959 to 1962. During the Cold War he was a secret courier for U.S. Military Intelligence, a story he recounted in his 2016 autobiography “Surgeon / Spy.” He also wrote about his world travels, which included climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

Dr. Derrick was well-published in the field of urology and in 2014 received the presidential award from the American Urological Association for longstanding contributions to urological education, patient care, superb clinical judgment and surgical skills.

He retired from his private practice in June 2019 and was known as one of the oldest practicing urologists in the country.

In 2002, he received The Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina’s highest award.

A prolific artist, Dr. Derrick completed more than 100 paintings, many of which are hanging in St. Francis and Roper hospitals. He helped the Charleston Artist Guild teach painting to Alzheimer’s patients in local nursing homes. He also tended roses, growing more than 120 varieties and helped found the Charleston Rose Society.

He served as president of the Charleston Trident Chamber of Commerce and as president of the Charleston County Medical Society.

He is survived by his wife, Martha Langford Derrick of Mount Pleasant; one daughter, Martha (Mottie) Derrick Wieters (Paul) of Charleston; one son, F. Carl Derrick II M.D. (Melissa) of Beaufort; eight grandchildren; one great-granddaughter; and a sister, Betty Bland Dowd.

His funeral will be at 2 p.m. Friday, March 13, 2020 in First (Scots) Presbyterian Church, 53 Meeting St. Interment will be in Magnolia Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, March 12, 2020, in the J. Henry Stuhr Inc. Downtown Chapel, 232 Calhoun St., Charleston.

Memorials may be made to the Clemson University Foundation, 110 Daniel Drive, Clemson, SC 29631 or Carolina Children’s Charity, 1064 Gardner Road, Charleston, SC 29407, or First (Scots) Presbyterian Church, 53 Meeting St., Charleston, SC 29401.

His full obituary is posted online.

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