Derek Remegius D'Souza

October  1st, 1949 April  28th, 2024
Derek Remegius D'Souza

Obituary

Derek Remegius D’Souza died peacefully with his family by his side on 28 April 2024 at The Bridge Neurological Care Centre in Middlesbrough, following a month at the James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough being treated for complications of a drug-resistant UTI. Derek’s problems began in February of 2022 with the sudden onset of Tuberculous Meningitis resulting in an acquired brain injury, for which he was treated at Castle Hill Hospital in Hull and York City Hospital before being transferred in January 2023 to The Bridge for possible rehabilitation.

Born in Karachi, Pakistan into a Catholic family originating from Goa, a former Portuguese colony in India, Derek was the youngest of seven children, his elder siblings being Sylvia, Efremia (Effie), Emanuel (Mannie), Achilles (Archie), Thecla and Doreen. After attending St Patrick’s School and College where he attained a BA in Commerce, Derek soon had the urge to travel and, en route to America, stopped off in Rome to visit his priest brother, Father Archie D’Souza. The USA was quickly forgotten as his passion for Rome and all things Italian grew. Learning to speak Italian, he worked at various jobs including as a photographer’s assistant working on projects which took him as far away as Libya, and made many friends, both Italian and of various expat nationalities including Australian, Irish and English frequenters of the Fiddler’s Elbow pub, of which he spoke often with fond memories. Of this period, Derek had always provided loose hints and tales of covert escapades carried out on behalf of the US Government… but it was never clear how tall the tales were, and where the truth began, and ended! After 9 years living in Rome and travelling extensively throughout Italy, Derek was offered the chance to go to work in Mogadishu, Somalia, as an Accountant/Administrator at the Somali Hellenic Shipping Company, a Greek-owned company which exported livestock from Somalia to the Arab States.

In 1979, Derek met his future English wife, Kay, who had relocated from Geneva to Mogadishu as part of a Red Cross delegation. Marriage followed in 1983 as did two beautiful children – Dominic in 1985 and Francesca in 1987. Life continued in Mogadishu where Derek, in his spare time, threw himself into Friday morning activities of either his beloved cricket, playing for the international expat team against the Pakistan expat team or spending time at the Mogadishu Golf Club where he usually won the prize for the ‘longest drive’ in competitions and spent many hours regaling his fellow competitors with stories and jokes. Indeed, Derek could always be relied upon to engage in conversation and he would often choose to be ‘the devil’s advocate’ just to get a lagging discussion animated. He was very well known and popular amongst the international expat community as well as the local Somali people.

There was also time for work, especially with the new Somali Hellenic venture with the Ministry of Tourism to open a Somali Duty Free Shop selling, much to the delight of the expat community, alcohol, tobacco, perfume and ‘foreign delicacies’ not available locally. Derek revelled in this and, engaged in managing the stocking and running of the shop, as well as the accounting, he was possibly taken back to the days of the family business in Karachi – the Sindh Wine Store.

Things changed in 1990.  After a holiday in the USA and Canada, following advice to leave the family behind in York, England, where they had now bought a house, Derek returned to Somalia alone in September 1990 saying he would return at Christmas.  However, subsequent to initial warnings, severe civil unrest broke out in Mogadishu, with warlords and local militia infighting threatening the stability of the region. Derek and others took shelter at the British Embassy before being transferred to the US Embassy and airlifted by American military helicopters onto the USS Guam for a voyage by sea to Oman for flights home. Derek arrived in mid-January 1991 to the tranquil safety of York. He really loved York, but this didn’t stop him from seeking out other ‘hot spots’ taking on overseas contracts with Support Services International in Croatia, Zambia and again back in Mogadishu, but this time based at the airport with the international delegation and not venturing into the chaos of the town.

Back in York, Derek worked for several companies throughout the years as the children attended school. He adapted to the slower pace of the English lifestyle, and enjoyed attending horse-racing at York Races as well as cricket matches at Headingley, Leeds. There was much to say and comment on as the world moved and the media reported it. Indeed, Derek would have been enthralled with all that happened politically both in the UK and throughout the world since the onset of his illness at the beginning of 2022. His interest in and vast knowledge of the international political scene would have kept him glued to the media reporting from all sides.

Although Kay and Derek lived separately from 2015, they remained very good friends speaking daily and taking trips out in the UK and to Italy together. In 2016, he travelled to Australia to visit his sisters and their families and to meet up with Dominic, before carrying on to China to visit Francesca who was working in Shanghai and to meet Greg (who later became Francesca’s husband).
In 2020 Covid interfered with a planned trip to the USA for Francesca’s wedding which instead took place virtually. Being classed as ‘vulnerable’ due to various health issues, Derek coped well in lockdown going out for very early morning walks, making friends, as was his wont, with the dog walkers on York Racecourse …at the required distance.

Derek’s sudden hospitalisation in February 2022 meant that he missed out on the birth of his granddaughters, Elodie born the same month and then her sister, Felicity, born in December 2023. Even though there were bright sparks and moments of genuine humour and understanding, his condition did not allow him to have the full engagement with them that he would have loved to have had.

Saddened as we all are that Derek is no longer with us, we believe that he is now at peace and relieved from the frustrations of not being able to be the person that he was, or wanted to be - the Derek that we knew and loved.

Derek is pre-deceased by his siblings Mannie, Archie and Sylvia and survived by his wife, Kay, children Dominic and Francesca (Greg), grandchildren Elodie and Felicity and his sisters Effie, Thecla (Len) and Doreen.

Derek’s whole family would like to pay tribute to all the staff, especially the Nurses and Health Care Assistants on Newport Ward, at The Bridge in Middlesbrough who cared for Derek with affection, friendship and respect throughout his stay there until the moment he left us.

Gallery

Memory wall

Derek always liked to a spin a yarn. We ask you to share Memories and Condolences - tell it like it is!


July 13, 2024
Dominic, Francesca & Kay have done an incredible job sharing Derek’s amazing life story through words, images and shared memories. We were fortunate to get to meet Mum’s youngest brother Derek on his trip to Australia 9 years ago to surprise her at her 80th. Quick witted, charming, well informed on global issues but also interested in banter & debate (in typical D’Souza style) he was unforgettable. we kept in touch with him until his illness messaging through WhatsApp - Agreeing with his assessments as COVID arrived, shared dismay about the global rise of right wing politics to friendly cricket rivalry.
One of the last photos he shared with us is attached-
As the warm tributes on this site show, Derek lived his life to the fullest, took risks & had adventures but is remembered for his strong connections with people right until the end. Vale Derek.
Deirdre (Diddy), Ian, Nick & Sophia Newton
Deirdre D'Souza
July 12, 2024
What a beautiful tribute to Derek!

Derek left Karachi when I was little, but my mom often shared stories of his young days.I remember connecting with Derek and Kay in 1986/87 when they visited Karachi. Before his illness, he would often reach out to me via WhatsApp and phone calls, He was always well-informed about ‘world news’ and politics and would tell me what was happening in Vancouver before I knew it.

Derek will be deeply missed. Our condolences to Kay, Dominic, Francesca, and Family. Rest in peace, Derek.
Hazel Fernandes
July 12, 2024
This is a beautiful tribute to Derek. Thank you for sharing these memories. I regret that I only met Derek via Zoom (due to the pandemic) on the day of Francesca + Gregory's wedding (May 15, 2020), making this compilation of memories + photos a particularly lovely introduction to his life + the extended family. Speaking for my immediate family, we are glad for our connection to Kay + Dominic, + we cherish Francesca + the girls.-- Nancy Zivitz Sussman (mother of Greg)
Nancy Zivitz Sussman
July 12, 2024
Thank you to Kay, Dominic and Francesca for creating this wonderful tribute. Derek was my father-in-law and I wish we had more time together. The opportunity to read about his life and see so many pictures of him - young and older and in places near and far - was truly a gift. May Derek’s memory be a blessing to all who cared for him.
Greg Sussman
July 10, 2024
One of life’s special and unique gentlemen. What an absolute pleasure it was to meet you and to look after you at the Bridge care centre Derek. Despite the difficulties you faced following your illness, your character, intelligence, sense of humour, wit and charm were evident during time spent with you. It was our pleasure at the bridge to be able to care for you in your final months. Fly high Derek xxx
Lucy Evans
July 10, 2024
I am deeply saddened about Derek’s passing. Reflecting on our shared memories, I am struck by how much he meant to me throughout the years.

Derek was three years younger than I and our lives were busy with school and college.
I fondly remember March 1975, when Karl and I spent two wonderful weeks in Rome on our way to join Malcolm in Canada. Those days spent with Derek and our brother, Fr. Archie, were truly special.

Derek’s visit to us in Quebec remains vivid in my memory, especially seeing how well he and Malcolm got along. In 1983, he brought Kay to meet my family, and it was heartwarming to see how they fit right in. September 1990 marked a milestone when all seven siblings reunited in Canada—a gathering I’ll always cherish.

In 2007 , Derek’s surprise visit to Sylvie and Simon for their 50th anniversary was a testament to his thoughtfulness. His hilarious speech that night brought joy to everyone. The last time I saw Derek was in 2016 when Effie, Derek, and I enjoyed a holiday in Scotland together. Those moments are precious to me.

Derek was a pillar of support during my health challenges, always offering comforting advice. His last text to me on January 9, 2022, still rings in my heart: “Enjoy your day! Have a glass of wine.
Cheers, Derek.”

His warmth, humor, and kindness will be deeply missed.

May he rest in peace
Doreen Fernandes
July 10, 2024
My name is Maria Sol, married to Patrick Tellis, first cousin of Derek. Our deepest condolences to the family. A mass was celebrated at St. Joseph's for Derek a week ago. May his soul rest in peace.
Maria Sol Tellis
July 9, 2024
It was a pleasure been able to meet and care for Derek here at The bridge, He was a very intelligent man who taught us all a lot with his stories from around the world and always kept us laughing with his great sense of humour. Derek was a lovely man and will be missed dearly by us all here.
Beth xx
Beth Stephenson
July 9, 2024
Thank you, Lord, for the life of Derek and we pray that you grant him eternal rest.
Derek was my mum’s (Sylvie) youngest brother. Growing up as a child in Karachi, I remember he worked across the street in my grandpa’s store and would come to visit us for lunch that my mum would prepare for him. He kept us all amused with his jokes and interesting stories.
Derek loved conversation, had a winning smile and always won the hearts of all he met with his views on anything and everything. He had an outgoing personality and was always sociable.
Over the years, we met him on his visits to Canada, and have special memories of the white “cowboy hat” he wore.
He was knowledgeable about world events. We would connect on FB and have discussions on politics, religion and family, until his illness prevented him communicating with us.
To Kay, Dominic, Francesca and Greg, our deepest sympathies. Thank you for keeping us updated during Derek’s illness. May you find comfort in the memories of all the special times you shared together, as evident in the pictures on this website. Such beautiful memories of Derek’s life.
May Derek’s soul rest in peace.

Sharon, Alban, Marc, Adam & Ryan SOARES
July 9, 2024
For a life we'll lived my deep condolences to Derek's family and his siblings who I have known since childhood. May he rest in peace
Dennis Borges
July 8, 2024
Derek being the youngest of seven siblings was loved and spoilt by all of us. But I do also remember times when he was chased around the dining table by my Dad, cane in hand, for some mischief or comment!
He was a bright boy and did well at his studies at school and college.
Always good at words , he managed to negotiate pocket money out of my hard earned.first job pay packet to get a few comic books.

In the last 40years or so, we lived on the other side of the world from each other. I was lucky to spend many happy times with Derek and his family on visits to York, holidaying with him and my sister Doreen in Scotland, and celebrating special family occasions all around the globe.
In fact, Derek was the surprise guest at my 80th birthday celebration,
when he visited Australia with his son Dominic in 2015. Of course he was the life of the party, charming all ,my friends and family and entertaining everyone with stories and yarns!
Even though we were so far.apart, we were in constant touch with each other on email or phone calls until the sudden onset of his
illness.
Rest in Peace dear brother Derek 🙏 you lived your life to the full!
Effie D'Souza
July 7, 2024

I miss you Dad.
And, as ever
I miss you telling me not to miss you
Just because I said I miss you.
Dominic D'Souza
July 7, 2024
Derek was my “cool” uncle .. my childhood memories of him are of a long haired bell bottoms, sunglasses dude, noisy, dancing singing loud, arguing & stirring up his mother and siblings ! Meeting him years later as an adult in England and when he visited Australia, the charisma and energy were still there ! He was so interested in people & ideas & loved discussion .He kept in touch through fb and email, sending random musings, cricket commentary (particularly during the Ashes!)& photos - He made an impression on all of us in the Watson family and we are glad we got to spend time with him x thank you Kay, Dom and Francesca for sharing this tribute with us .
Beverley Watson
July 7, 2024
Derek. You were a great friend to us both. To us you were ‘Rome’ and your knowledge of the city and history was incredible. Together we shared many laughs, meals, trips and long nights holding up the bar at the Fiddler's Elbow. You were also a great sportsman and we have many fond memories of our summer games of cricket at Castel Gandolfo overlooking Lake Albano. You will always hold a special place in our hearts. Rest in Peace our dear friend. John and Lyn Auditore
Lynette Auditore
July 6, 2024
When I think of Derek the main characteristics which come to mind are his generosity, his hospitable nature and his love of a debate.

Visiting him during his illness was heartbreaking because his illness, it seemed to me, denied him the opportunity to simply be himself.

I take comfort from the thoughts of the staff at the Bridge posted here as there must have been times during that long illness that the real Derek managed to shine through.

“Ciao, Derek. We enjoyed the election and the presidential farce on your behalf!!”
Howard Spellman
July 6, 2024
Derek certainly touched all our heart's especially mine and the staff on Newport floor at The bridge care centre.
No day was ever the same with Derek. He was a very intelligent man who also had a sense of humour at time's.
He had nickname's for most of us mine was red ( due to the redness of my hair).
I can say we will never meet a character like Derek a lovely man who will be missed by us all
Tracy x
Tracy Richards
July 4, 2024
Ciao Derek from the friends at the Fiddler's Elbow in Rome.
Gino & Mary Bottigliero
July 4, 2024
It was a pleasure to of met Derek and his wonderful family. He was a very knowledgeable man who taught me a lot. He made me laugh to no end with his wit. For every bad day he had a good day and those good days were like a breath of fresh air. Thank you for everything Derek! xx
Daisy Meggison
July 3, 2024
I had the great pleasure of knowing Derek for a short time but that short time was wonderful and was filled with laughs, great chats and a few off days but this is what made Derek the Character he was. On Derek's good days he would often tell me stories of Countries he had visited and his wonderful family holidays and that i should make sure i visit. I will make sure i do visit and especially America where you told me " They have bad Presidents" again we had giggles over these Presidents. God bless you Derek you did light up my dull days.

Never be a thought away xxxxx

Condolences to Kay and family god bless you all. xxxxx
Kelly Murphy

Family tree

Joseph Manuel D'Souza
Idalina D'Cruz
Mathias Sebastian Barco
Liberata D'Souza
Dominic Gabriel D'Souza
1893-1974
Arabella Barco 1908-1989
Kay Spellman
1952
Sylvia Mary
1932-2020
Efremia Beatrice
1935
Francesca Kate
1987
Dominic Patrick
1985
Emanuel Joseph
1939-2004
Achilles
1942-2006
Thecla Josephine
1943
Doreen Assumption
1946
Sylvia Mary
1932-2020
Efremia Beatrice
1935
Emanuel Joseph
1939-2004
Achilles
1942-2006
Thecla Josephine
1943
Doreen Assumption
1946
Kay Spellman
1952
Francesca Kate
1987
Dominic Patrick
1985
Derek D'Souza

Hello


You are invited to explore and take your time.

You are invited to discover, to rediscover, to reminisce, and to reconnect.

Kay, Dominic and Francesca
.
Housekeeping

The song that is linked to the site is ‘So Begins the Task,’ by Stephen Stills.

The audio can be listened to at anytime and there is a play / pause button on the left hand side of the page. Ensure your volume is not set to mute. The song is on a loop and will replay after finishing but can be paused at any stage. 

The Memory Wall serves as a section for sharing anything you would like. The section can be accessed on the top right button on the banner.

If you think someone may wish to view or contribute to the tribute who has not already received it - there is a Share button which facilitates this.

Service


Following receiving the Last Rites shortly before passing gently away on 28 April, Derek was cremated on Wednesday 8 May in the beautiful woodland setting of Northumberland Crematorium.

Prayers were said on his behalf at St Edward's the Confessor church in York.

In Toronto, where many of Derek's family, friends and acquaintances live, a mass was offered on his behalf on 7 June at the Sacred Heart Church, in the local parish of his niece and her family.

On this site we have chosen the music of Stephen Stills - So Begins the Task.

While we mourn the loss of dear Derek, we also aim to cherish the moments shared. 

Think and speak of him often - laugh as you always laughed at the little jokes you enjoyed together.

In time, Derek's ashes will be scattered in some of the places he loved best.
Location
Date/time
8 May 2024
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