Nelsen Williamsburg

3785 Strawberry Plains Rd., Williamsburg, VA


Derek David Smith - Winnes

June 5, 1954August 10, 2020

Derek David Smith - Winnes was born on June 5, 1954 and passed away on August 10, 2020 and is under the care of Nelsen Williamsburg.

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Derek David Smith - Winnes

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Paul Dunn

September 5, 2020

I am blessed to have known Derek as a colleague, mentor, and friend. I will treasure not only all the knowledge he so generously shared, but also the guidance, wisdom, compassion, and passion he so generously shared. I will remember fondly the many conversations we had about all things NASA-related and will miss them. His deep love for his dear wife, Rebecca, and his ‘girls’ Dakota and Shannon will always remain with me.

Miguel Salles

August 19, 2020


It seems like yesterday that we were trumping the drums to a Cinderella run for the NY Giants to win the Super Bowl and beat on the Dallas Cowgirls. I’ll miss all the constitution conversations that were not only enlightening but refreshing. Your knowledge of Bible verses always impressed me and how you related them to everyday life. The passion you had for military Service and those who served showed in your undying effort to serve the military as a civil servant. You will be missed, and God Bless and happy trails partner.

Laura Anne Cavanaugh

August 18, 2020

Heraclitus observed that one's integrity is their destiny. As an aphorism it very much captures the character of the man we now mourn but whose life we also celebrate. A loving husband, valued CECOM employee, and patriot Derek was also one, to paraphrase Emmerson, who saw the miraculous in the common. His faith and unfailing ability to share just the right scripture for any occasion was inspiring, uplifting and faith affirming to those who knew him. A loving husband to Rebecca, a man faithful to Christ he was also passionate about his values including those Army values we take an oath to uphold. He was righteous, principled, a true patriot, fair in his dealings with others and well-read in his love of history, the bible, movies, science and current events. He loved his country and he loved the Army. He revered our institutions and founding documents and our distinctly American traditions and holidays. He had a terrific sense of humor and loved any and everything about NASA and the Space Program. He had a gift for acting and loved movie trivia and was never happier than when quoting a character from a favorite movie, however obscure to those under 50 ...or 60 as the case may be. He also loved his 'girls' Savannah and Dakota who were his valued companions and best friends. His loss has created a hole in all our lives but it is my prayer and wish that we now celebrate his new life in Christ and the fulfillment of his faith.

He was my good friend and will be greatly missed."

Laura Anne Cavanaugh

Gina DeMarco

August 18, 2020

Derek, reading all of these tributes, I wish I had known you better! You were one of the kindest people with whom I have had the pleasure of working. You were always so pleasant and appreciative of everything. I still have a thank-you note you wrote to me. Your passing hit me hard and is still hard to accept. I know you are rejoicing with the Lord and for that I am grateful. Sleep well, Derek, and know that we all thought the world of you.

James Urso

August 17, 2020

Friends like Derek are truly few and far between in life. I feel really lucky our paths crossed here and hope our paths cross again. Speaking of the cross, I can honestly say he was one of the biggest champions of the true meaning of the cross and believed wholeheartedly and lived his life accordingly. He was full of love and kindness. He loved his wife so much.
Derek, one of my best friends, went to heaven. We talked about so much at work. Life, religion, family, history, politics, sports, news, music, NASA. Pretty much everything. Always fun and interesting and a learning experience. I will miss Derek so much.
I think Derek would want all of us to celebrate his new beginning. That, I will try to focus on and find comfort. He is in Heaven. A well-deserved reward for the good Christian person he was to all of us.
My brain is still having a hard time processing the sudden passing of Derek. Seeing his pictures here , it is like he is still with us. And in a way, he is.
I was looking through my e-mails from Derek. On July 17th, I was talking about the bad things that seemed to be happening in the world. I closed the e-mail by wishing him a good weekend. He replied, " You too Jim. Better days are ahead. Read psalm 37. Have a great weekend." That was Derek.

I never got around to showing him my coin collection. He never got around to showing me the picture of him with long hair when he was young. Till we meet again.

Suzanne Bird

August 15, 2020

Derek, we will miss you. Such a talented actor and improv performer. The audience always loved you, and you added so many laughs for us, onstage and off. Wishing Rebecca and your furry ones comfort and condolences.

James Esposito

August 14, 2020

So sorry to hear of this great loss. Derek is gone too soon. I enjoyed performing with Derek many times, All those years ago. I will never forget his smile. R.I.P my friend.


August 14, 2020


I was deeply saddened to hear of your passing. I've known you for my entire professional career and enjoyed our chats about football and the passion you had for your Giants and Yankees (sadly Rutgers football as well). Your stories about your time at NFL today were awesome and you were a great person to work with.

I'll see you on the other side.

Mike Dooney

Patricia Reed-Wright

August 14, 2020

Goodbye Derek, a true gentleman and wonderful friend who always brought joy and laughter wherever he went. I have such fond memories of the shows we did together at The Dam Site Dinner Theater and the happy times we shared with our theatrical family. You will be forever missed and remembered my friend.
My thoughts and prayers go out to Rebecca and Derek’s family and friends. Rest In Peace my friend. The world is a better place because you were here.
Pat Reed-Wright

Lucille Lo Sapio

August 14, 2020

Derek and I have shared the stage more times than I can remember. He was always a great foil, a talented actor and a friend. Whether it was on the stage or during a murder mystery dinner, I could always count on Derek to be a consummate professional, even when we were improvising… Which was always such fun with him. I will miss his ready laugh, his genial personality and his friendship. I just hope that he and Drew Hollywood aren’t giving Jane Milmore a hard time now.

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