WESTFIELD: Juli Jensen-Derrig passed away suddenly on June 20, 2021, surrounded by her husband and children. She was taken from us far too soon at the young age of 54. Born in Westfield, MA, Juli was raised in Granville, MA and graduated from Southwick High School. She went on to Westfield State College where she majored in Education. Juli and her husband Tim raised their family in Montgomery, MA for eighteen years.
Juli touched many lives with her kindness as the Principal at St. Mary’s Parish Elementary School for the last 4 years, and prior to that as a teacher there for 17 years. She loved her students, knew all of their families, and supported them through many of life’s challenges. She motivated and appreciated her outstanding staff, and her affectionate black lab, Mabel, often joined her at school.
She spent the majority of her life with her best friend, Jackie, who was her younger sister. She also stood by her throughout her courageous battle with cancer. When Jackie passed, Juli made sure that her sister was honored and that her family was taken care of. She ensured that she attended every important event for her brother-in-law Gene and her nephew Charlie, and that they could always rely on her at any time.
Juli was full of life, compassion and humor. She was a ray of sunshine every day with a beautiful smile and a hearty laugh – nothing was off limits. She made friends easily wherever she went, and you couldn’t help but know who she was at any social gathering. Juli had the biggest, most kind and loving heart. Although facing hardship of her own, including her past battle with cancer, she always focused on helping others.
She brought energy and that beautiful smile to everything that she did, and had many friends and her extended family whom she valued deeply. She loved the sun in her face, the nearby tranquility of an ocean or lake, and enjoyed escaping the cold of winter with Tim for a short trip to Myrtle Beach or Florida. Juli also loved flowers, reading books, and a good meal – but the dessert was always more important than the meal.
Most of all, she cherished every minute with her precious granddaughter, Morgan.
Juli is survived by her husband Tim Derrig, her son Taylor Derrig, and her daughter Chelsi Derrig. Her son and his daughter, Morgan, gave her all of her happiest memories as a grandmother. Her daughter, an Emergency and Trauma nurse at Baystate Medical Center, resembles her in many ways. She was extremely proud of both of her children and their accomplishments.
In addition, she leaves her father Paul Jensen of Granville, MA and his companion Irene Gogol, her mother Rita M. LaVertue of Westbrook, CT, as well as her brother-in-law Gene Keen and his son Charlie of South Windsor, CT. She was pre-deceased by her sister, Jackie Jensen Keen, in 2005. Juli also leaves behind many close friends, and her St. Mary’s family.
The family would like to sincerely thank the Westfield Fire Department, and Baystate Medical Center Emergency Department staff.
Memorial donations may be made to St. Mary’s Parish Elementary School, 35 Bartlett Street in Westfield, MA or to Mary’s Place, 6 Poquonock Ave in Windsor, CT.
Visiting hours will be held on Monday, June 28th from 3:00 to 7:00 at Christ Lutheran Church, 568 College Hwy in Southwick, MA. The burial will be private for immediate family.
Avalon Funeral & Cremation Services, 691 College Hwy, Southwick, MA 01077 is assisting the family with arrangements.
To express condolences, share memories or photos, please visit Juli’s memorial page at www.avaloncelebrations.com