Things Derek felt passionately about.

Anyone that knew Derek would probably use the same word to describe him: passionate.  Here are some passions…

  • The Bible – knowing it, being in it, breathing it
  • Prayer
  • David Crowder Band [>]
  • Hillsong [>]
  • James MacDonald [>]
  • Mark Driscoll [>]
  • Michael Jordan
  • Tiger Woods
  • Star Wars (the original three)
  • Injustice
  • His kids
  • The Claw and fe fi fo fumb
  • Hurley t-shirts
  • Movies (quoting “Dumb and Dumber” and “True Lies”)
  • Sin and repentance
  • Me
  • That “Christmas Vacation” is the #1 holiday movie of all time
  • The Cubs
  • U of M football
  • March Madness
  • The Masters
  • Vespa
  • Puma
  • Huge belly laughs
  • Chips (Doritos, chips and salsa)
  • Facebook status updates (who cares)
  • Fabrication stories (the derek factor of exaggeration)
  • Derek facts (top 10)
  • Butt rashes – tu days
  • “Sure”
  • Dancing (the big guy could move)
  • Young MC [>]
  • Frustration of txting while with other people
  • Cell phones are pacifiers
  • Giordono’s pizza…Pizza in general!

Please keep posting some your favorite things Derek was passionate about below…

Shared by Charity


  1. No athlete or other wearer wants to fuss with a pair of sunglasses that is ill-fitting, either pinching or sliding off your face at inconvenient times. The semi-rimless design ensures your field of vision is never obscured, particularly when looking downward, which can happen with other models of sunglasses.

  2. Anonymous

    >taking showers if he even had one drop of sweat
    the tv show 24

  3. Caitlin Maurer

    >Derek loved pointing out with Josh every time Charity or I would interrupt their stories and try to tell them better :) Two peas in a pod, I swear. I was reminded of this when one of the speakers at the funeral said something about "married couples' love at first sight." We totally felt this with you two as well. We're going to miss that big goofy guy, but we're so incredibly blessed to have known him. And thank you so much for having us over that last time to hold precious Dylan and share a meal and fellowship with you two. We hold that last memory of them so dear to our hearts. And Derek's thoughts on Rob Bell's book will always make me laugh!
    Oh, and every time someone at our church in Hastings comments on Josh's passion when he speaks or his hands are raised in worship- I always tell them "You have no idea…you have to meet Derek Taatjes!" Now they'll just have to wait and see when we get to heaven. They'll know exactly what I meant. Love you Charity and your rockstar girls!

  4. Zac George

    >Derek had our high school small group sleep over one time, and what movie did we stay up late to watch? Dumb and Dumber. I think that was the first time I had ever seen it, and I've now seen it many times since. Thanks Derek. Just part of your legacy on me. :-)

  5. Anonymous

    >I didn't know who David Crowder Band was, unfortunately, until the van ride to Winterfest, my senior year. Derek absolutely insisted that we listen to them because "they are the best band". I am still in love with them to this day. Thank you, Derek! They are the best band.

    Audrey Johnson

  6. Kim Boynton

    >As several of our fellow staff members have already shared, he wanted more than a one word response when he asked how you were or how your night or weekend was. Then he would excitedly share what he had done, what had excited him or an anecdote about the kids since we had last seen each other.

    For a big guy, he was also very stealthy. Our office is weirdly configured and Derek and I would often be the only ones there on Friday mornings. I would hear the door, stand up to see who had come in only to discover he had gone out and I hadn't even heard a footstep. Same thing when he came back…he'd be almost to his office door when I stood up to see who had come in. Then he'd say, "oh, sorry Kim, it's just me"!

    This morning I was driving to work and digging through my purse with one hand looking for a chapstick. When I pulled out that black & white stick I remembered that Derek used it all the time too! I can see him coating his lips while talking at my desk :(

    Finally: Listerine breath strips. Need I say more?

  7. Anonymous

    >I was a sophomore on the varsity golf team at FHN when I first met Derek. I remember the first practice I got to play with Derek at Egypt Valley, he was a legend, and I was an awkward sophomore hoping to earn a spot in the lineup. Derek steps up to the first tee and pipes a 300 yard drive right down the middle. I can still remember the perfect swing and ball flight. I was so nervous and intimidated I snap hooked my drive into the woods. I remember starting to walk to my ball thinking how annoyed he must be playing with a hack like me. Although he had to help me look for my ball every other hole, he immediately made me feel comfortable, talking to me like we were friends, and encouraging me. When I saw him in the hallway school he would always say hello and I was always proud that I knew him. In recent years I would see Derek at MVP on occasion and we would always catch up and talk about what was going on in our lives and our golf game. I am glad I knew Derek, he was amazing person in all facts of life and will be greatly missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.

    Bill Buchanan Jr

  8. Anonymous

    >Nancy's Restaurant in Chi-Town
    Yelling "Come On!" at the top of his lungs

  9. Anonymous

    >dunking – windmills, behind the back,
    sweat bands – head and wrist, especially on the golf course
    …..than a …..

  10. Jenn Robinson

    >Derek had a way of making clear what seemed confusing and cloudy. He has an ability to get to the heart of any matter and bring Jesus there with him.

  11. Anonymous

    >I had never personally met Derek but I do have one single memory about Charity and Derek. I remember their wedding day. I was not at the wedding but happened to be in my car sitting at the light in front of the church. My window was down and the church bells began to ring. As I turned right to go down the hill, Charity and Derek came out through the front doors of the church after the wedding. I will never forget the look of happiness on their faces. I have no idea why this memory has stayed with me. Maybe it was so I could share it with you now.

    ~Andrea Povick

  12. Anonymous

    >Ella just said to put that she love Daddy's claw and pony rides. She loved when Daddy put her bed!!!

  13. Anonymous

    >That's what I remember too! When others usually usually ask "how are you doing?" and then keep walking, Derek would always stop by the desk, ask "How are you doing?" and then stop and wait, a one word answer wasn't enough for him.
    -Allison Palacios

  14. Will Weatherehad

    >How ya doing man?

    Every morning, i would be one of the first people at the office. Derek would come in shortly after and on the way to his office he would ask, "How ya doing man?" I would answer and we would talk for a while. Just minutes later, Derek would walk over to the kitchen to make some coffee and on the way back to his office, he would ask again, "how ya doing today?" The first time it happened i thought he was joking, but when it happened every day i learned to adapt. I would have to phrase what i already told him in a new way.
    I am not sure why…well yes i am. He cared about me so much. He really wanted to know. Derek was my biggest fan in ministry and a good friend. I will always miss advancing God's kingdom with him.

  15. Anonymous

    >Coffee, he loved his coffee. He would always bring in Star Bucks for the Pavilion and than extra already made with all the fix in's to share with the staff.

    Greg and I also enjoyed him on the camping trip with the youth group. We would ask him questions about himself and his family and with BIG smiles he would tell us about you all. We are forever great full that God gave us that time to get to know him. What a man of God! How proud you must be.

    Greg and Sabrina Emmorey

  16. Erin Marie

    >"Fabrication stories (the derek factor of exaggeration)"

    Haha-remembering the time he came home from work while I was watching the girls and told me he was sick and that he had already thrown up 40 times that day. FORTY! And he wasn't kidding.

    It wasn't until later that Charity informed me of how Derek was prone to slight exaggeration and he had a unique-to-himself way of gauging what constituted as "throwing up".

    The guy was big. He lived big. He lived passionately big in every way.

    -Erin Weatherhead

  17. >Charity, this is a BEAUTIFUL family picture. I am so, so sorry to hear about your loss. My heart breaks for you and your girls. I have been sharing this story on facebook and know that there are so many TU folks out there praying for you! -Ann (Snow) Schmidt TU '98

  18. Charity

    >Michele Marie – Aways carried a smile down the block!!!
    Terri Hummel Robinson – Derek had kind words with purpose and a big smile.
    Sarah Ellie Dickinson – Derek's rawness let everyone in

  19. Chuck Bennett

    >Derek loved taking his girls to the park!

  20. Lindsay Schrauger

    >This summer during Immersion, Derek was the dad of our small group and I was the Mom. We quickly decided that I would just be the neice since Derek was already married to a wonderful Mom. I couuldn't help but giggle at times during the backpacking trip we took. He was such a trooper when having to go to the bathroom in the great outdoors, sleep with no air mattress, and walk 100yds to the lake to filter our drinking water. Even in a time when he could have been thinking about himself, I remember how he just took the time to challenge the students regarding how fortunate we are to have clean, filtered water so easily accesible to us.

    I'll also remember how he would say, "Our home is your home" when I was nannying Ella and Jo. Always thinking of others.

  21. Accel Monroe Paramour

    >Derek was passionate about his kids. Both his kin, Ella and Jojo. And the youth he taught on a regular basis. He strived to set an example for us, provide emotional support for us and teach us exactly what God would want us to strive for.

  22. >Okay, this is REALLY random…but I will always (and have always) thought of Derek when I think of Taco Bell. He always said Toxic Hell instead. Lucky for me, I have a "Toxic Hell" down the street from me, so I will be reminded often! =) And I will never forget his dancing in college either.

  23. Anonymous

    >I was SO going to say Hurley t-shirts! haha :) This is so sweet Charity. Love you!

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