Derek Wade Sundlee, of Montevideo, passed away Sunday, February 19, 2023 at the age of 50.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, March 4, 2023 at Our Savior's Lutheran church in Montevideo with Rev. Donald S. McKee and Rev. Marie Eckberg officiating.
Visitation with the family will be held one hour prior to the service at the church.
Derek was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on October 10, 1972 and was then adopted by Dennis and LaVonne Sundlee when he was a month old. He was baptized and confirmed at Our Savior’s Lutheran church in Montevideo and graduated from Montevideo Senior High School in 1991.
Derek found great pride and joy in his high school career. He was known for being goofy, talkative, always up for an adventure and inviting. His mindset was “the more, the merrier”. Derek also enjoyed participating in sports and many other extracurricular activities. He was on the Cross County team that went to state 3 times. He was also on the Tennis team and participated in class plays, speech competition, and Knowledge Bowl. When he was a senior, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor that changed his course of life. He surprised everyone and went to prom that April following his surgery. He never wanted to miss out on anything. Derek beat the odds and went on to attend Hamline University. While at Hamline he was elected to the Hamline University chapter of Psi Chi and Pi Gamma Mu. Psi Chi is a national psychology honor society and Pi Gamma Mu is a national social science society electing a limited number of students. Derek graduated from Hamline University in Minneapolis with honors in 1995 with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Spanish.
Derek worked for Rust Consulting in Minneapolis until COVID ended his career. He moved home to help his mother out and was looking for work. One of Derek’s passions was food. He loved to eat and was always trying new foods, the spicier the better. Derek was a kind soul and had the gift of gab. He loved meeting new people and catching up with old friends. He loved being an uncle to his nephew Christopher and niece Cali and loved young kids. Derek was a giver and would do anything to help out when and wherever he could.
Derek worked at Walmart in Montevideo for awhile and was thrilled when the young kids made a point to wave to him when they left the store. He also enjoyed bumping into former teachers and classmates. Derek had a pure and genuine heart and truly made the world a better place one day at a time. He made everybody feel like a somebody. His biggest desire would have been to be married and have children of his own.
Derek is survived by his father and mother, Dennis and LaVonne Sundlee; sister, Darci (Nathan) Molde; nephew, Christopher (and fiancé Heather); niece Cali (special friend Grayson); aunt, MaryAnn (Gordon) Jaenisch, Montevideo; aunt, Sharon Olson of Everett, WA; uncle, Loren (Deb) Sundlee of Yakima, WA; aunt, Shirley Sundlee of Willmar; and great aunt, Ardath Johnson of Pierz, as well as many cousins and friends.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Sigurd and Esther Sundlee, Konie and Vesta Kaupang; uncle, Russell Kaupang; uncle, Rollie Olson; uncle, Merrill Sundlee; uncle and aunts, Kenneth and Deloris Sundlee and Orlin and Verna Sundlee.