Dennis Joseph Derfler

April 24, 1958March 19, 2020
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Dennis Joseph Derfler, 61, of Belleville, Illinois, born April 24, 1958 in East St. Louis, Illinois, passed away, Thursday, March 19, 2020 at his residence.

Dennis was a faithful parishioner at St. Henry’s Catholic Church in Belleville. He served as a Eucharistic Minister and led members in the Rosary before mass daily. He was an avid sports fan rooting for his hometown St. Louis sports teams. He was very active and coached his sons T-Ball, Baseball, Soccer, and Basketball teams as they grew up. He also served as a Scout Leader for his sons when they were in the Cub Scouts. Dennis was a soft spoken, generous man that would help anyone and everyone. He was a loving son, brother, husband, father, and grandfather, who will truly be missed by all who knew him.

He was preceded in death by his father, Richard “Pat” Derfler and brother, Frank Derfler, in infancy.

Surviving to cherish his memory are his loving wife, Mary “Kay” Derfler, nee Sterr, of Belleville, Illinois; his mother, Roselle, Derfler, nee Genetti; his sons, Matthew (Amanda) Derfler, of Alexandria, Virginia and Nicholas (Kathryn) Derfler, of Pinehurst, North Carolina; his grandchildren, Grayson, Harper, William, and Lucas; his siblings, Mary Clare Derfler, Diane (Robert) Schneider, Patrick Derfler (Gail Casmier) and Julie (Nicholas) Weiss; a brother-in-law, James (Robbin) Sterr; a sister-in-law, Lee Ann (Roland) Fricke; and he was an uncle and Godfather to numerous, nieces, nephews; and is also survived by many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

In lieu of donations, Dennis would ask at this difficult time for our country, please perform an act of kindness for someone in need or become active with or donate to any of the local Catholic Charities. Condolences may also be expressed online at

The family wishes to express their sincere gratitude to everyone for their thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

Visitation: In being mindful for the health of our friends and family during this unprecedented time, all services will be held privately with Valhalla Gaerdner Holten Funeral Home, Belleville, Illinois.

Funeral: Private interment will be held in Mount Carmel Cemetery, Belleville Illinois. The family will announce a Memorial Mass at St. Henry’s Catholic Church once the concerns of COVID-19 have diminished. Dennis would never wish anyone to put themselves or their loved ones at risk to be part of the visitation or funeral.


Dennis Joseph Derfler

have a memory or condolence to add?

Jerry Hudlin

April 21, 2020

To Denny’s family, we are so sorry for your loss. I met Dennis in 4th grade at St. Patrick’s. We were altar boys together for the 5 AM Service. He was one of my first friends when my family moved to the neighborhood. That meant so much. We played ball in his backyard on 37th street. He and his family were so kind and generous. Our deepest sympathy and prayers go out to you.

Ted Williams

March 26, 2020

My condolences to the family. I knew Dennis as a kind, professional co-worker. It was always a pleasure to be in his company. R.I.P. sir.

Ted Williams
St. Louis

Rick Cassady

March 25, 2020

Our hearts and condolences go out to the Derfler family. Denny was a good person with a strong faith and will be missed. The Cassady family

Richard/Julia Burgess

March 25, 2020

Derfler Family
Please know you are in our thoughts, and in our prayers.
Richard & Julia Burgess

John Genetti

March 24, 2020

There are very few men who rise above the conflict in our world, from the unkindness, turmoil and outright evil all around us. But, most assuredly,
Denny Derfler was one of the few - one of the most caring, generous and best of men that we have ever known.

We could tell of his goodness, of what he meant to his family and to his friends and of his devotion to Our Lord, but we are profoundly reminded of something else. We are conveyed to another time and place, not too far from our own, of another conflict that makes any of our present day problems utterly pale in comparison. We are reminded of
C.S. Lewis writing in England against the horrific backdrop of World War II, when it looked the bleakest. And, of all things, he is writing about the Second Coming of Christ. In his story: the soldiers are preparing for battle; the farmer is ready to feed his pigs; the missionary is preparing to preach; and, the activist is writing legislation to save the downtrodden. But, in fact, none of this will ever happen: the soldiers will not fight; the pigs are not fed; the sermon won't be preached; and, the downtrodden will not be saved. What does happen is that these men are called to Eternity, and it matters not when or where they were at at the time. What matters most is that they were ready, in Lewis's military parlance, when the Inspection (Christ's) came.

The last thing Denny did in this world was to try to help someone - his fellow man, and thus, when the Inspection did come for Denny, Denny was ready and was whisked into heaven in the twinkling of an eye. We believe this with all our hearts. And, although, Denny wasn't at Mass at St. Henry's that morning, we understand that Denny celebrated Mass that very day in heaven.

Our deepest condolences to Kay, Roselle, Matt, Nick, Mary Clare, Diane, Patrick, Julie and to all of the family members and friends of Denny. You and Denny are in our prayers.

May God bless all of you,
Jack and Karin Genetti

Jeanne Renfro (Turner)

March 23, 2020

Denny, the big bro! I can picture you at St. Albert's, in Church, in the school, or on the fields. I picture you in the neighborhood driving by my house. But I can still clearly picture you answering the door or sitting in your family room when I'd stop by to see Derf aka Bones aka Diane.
😊 I loved the sound of your voice. It sounded caring. You were the good big brother! You were caring. You cared for me. You cared for many. You were a blessing. A life well lived. I love you, Derfler Family!❤💔❤❤❤❤

Jackie Harris Buesking

March 23, 2020

My siblings and I knew Denny from Bountiful Heights, St Albert's school & church, & Belleville East. He was such a genuinely kind person! We are so deeply saddened by his passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Derfler Family!
Dave, Jackie, Becky Harris

David Dintelman

March 23, 2020

To Pat and family, I learned of Dennis' passing from Mark R. and Tim K. The first thing I remember about Dennis was his coaching us junior champions in soccer at St. Albert. I love the picture you chose of him because it is hard to remember Dennis without a smile on his face...or maybe he was just laughing at us. Regardless, it says a lot about him even as a young man to use his time to coach his younger brother and his buddies.
It is wonderful to remember Dennis and it's great to read that he had many roles in his life as son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, uncle, friend, etc. What a blessing. May the gift of family, and the comfort of knowing our heavenly Father, bring your family peace. Pat, you're one of my oldest buddies, and I'm praying for you. Love, David D.


March 23, 2020

Dennis has been a wonderfully faithful parishioner of St Henry Catholic Church! I have worked with Dennis on many parish committees and projects and enjoyed his calm, joyful spirit and willingness to lend a hand. He will be deeply missed.

Jubi Roth

March 23, 2020

I worked with Dennis for sixteen years at Cerro Copper (1999-2015). Dennis was a kind and generous person and he always had such a fun sense of humor. Some of my favorite memories of Dennis are his swear jar at work which made us all laugh on so many occasions and his practical jokes and recycling antics. We would tease Dennis about his tiny pencil nubs and his coffee coasters. He was so proud of his wife, sons and his Grandson.
My condolences to the family.


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Dennis and Missy