In Memory

James William Derkowski

James William Derkowski

James William Derkowski, age 65 of New Ulm, Texas, passed away Saturday, August 3, 2019 at his residence.

James was born August 9, 1953 to parents Max and Rosemary Derkowski. He grew up and was schooled in Spring Branch, attended Texas Tech University, and retired in 2015. He was devoted to providing loving care for his parents for many years. 

Survivors include sister Mary Stepchinski, husband Butch; nephews Chris Stepchinski, wife Shanna; Nathan Stepchinski, wife Sherri; niece Sara Stepchinski; sister Susie Derkowski along with many, many cousins and extended family members. 

James had a life-long passion for sports, and was an ardent Houston Astros fan. 

A celebration of life will be planned for a later date. 


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08/12/19 08:25 AM #1    

Roger Earl Holland


Very sorry to hear this.  May Christ give his peace to James and his family for all eternity.  

He always had a smile, was kind to all and was a great athlete that never bragged about himself.  Sorry I never became closer to him, but guess we were both busy in other directions. 

“Derk” was then and still the smoothest basketball player around.  He just had a special delivery of his corner shot, that is hard to explain without a video.  He was a prelude to “Clyde the Glide”.  No hanky panky just all business on the court.  I used to kid him about getting coach to let me come out for basketball and he would just give that smile of his and a little laugh. 

God Bless You James,




08/12/19 10:55 AM #2    

David Allan Cates

May James be in etenal peace.  James was a great athlete.  He was the MVP on the basketball and baseball teams.  He led the basketball team to a 2nd place finish in district and  many victories against the best teams in the greater Houston area.  Played the eventual state champions, Cy-Fair, to two single digit losses.  He led the baseball team with his pitching any hitting to a 2nd place district finish also.  James pitched magnificently against an eventual major leaguer, David Clyde.  

08/12/19 11:12 AM #3    

Thomas Lye

I agree with Roger & David posts. He was a gentle giant and great athlete. He and Gary Dial and coach tried to talk me out of football and doing basketball full time but I wouldn't have it. He worked at his Dad's automotive shop early on and always looked after his freinds car needs. When I used to make him laugh he always had that delayed smile.  Last I heard he lived just outside of Brenham. Rest in peace my freind you will be surely missed & so sorry we let the time slip before we got back together. Enjoy the real life we all strive for and will look forward to seeing you again!

08/12/19 11:29 AM #4    

David Berry

As posted in his guestbook..

It's with great sadness that we hear of Jim's passing. Jim was a good friend in high school as we shared many, many hours on the basketball court as we endeavered to bring Spring Woods High Varsity Basketball to new heights. It resulted in our team (Class of 1971) being one of the best in Spring Woods Senior High history. He was one of the most natural basketball players I ever saw, and I understand, a natural on the baseball diamond too. He made it seem effortless. He was a friendly, fun loving guy, and there were team shenanigan's, not always in the best parts of Houston. We all loved and respected him on the team. My biggest regret is not getting to see him again after high school. I kept hoping to see him at a school reunion. I have special memories of Jim, including a right cross he gave me on the practice court when we got into a friendly spat. It was all part of team building, and neither of us thought much of anything about it again. I liked him for that. We will miss you big Jim.
David James Berry


08/13/19 07:13 PM #5    

Gary Michael Dial

Old Buddies that are lost!  James was a very good friend.  A big man with a bigger heart.  I found his mom and dad and sister to be very kind and loving people.  James was very talented at basketball he started on the Varsity as a freshman which was no small feat.  He was quite a talented pitcher also on the baseball team.  We used to do some very dumb stuff that we thought was extremely funny.  We use to sing this stupid song " Every little breazy seems to wisper Luis!  And just for the record we did this when there were no girls around.  His quirkey sence of humor and side ways laugh and smirk were quite entertaining.  Barry H / Robert B and myself had some grand times together in school at the Woods.  We had many a grand time Downtown Houston and around Spring Branch but these stories can only be  told with  a attorney present.  When Dirk got his Hog and his Mach White Mustang i believe he grew 3 more inches.  In talking about the loss of James - Dirk as we called him I want the world to know we have lost a very good hearted man.  It a shame that we did not keep in touch like the old days because he will be missed. There are a handful of people over time that when you think of them it puts a smile on your face.  Jim was such a man.   My hope of hope is that God will welcome him into his arms and give Jim good knees again so he can get up and shoot baskets any time that he wants.  My our Lord help his family and friends through this time of loss and only bring all closer to Him!    Gary Dial

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