John was born on March 3, 1943 in Palestine, Texas to Carrie Kelly Derrough and
Johnnie Derrough. He graduated from A.M. Story High School and entered the U.S. Navy in
1962. His first tour of duty was with the USS Carter Hall which serviced ports in Vietnam
during Westpac trips until 1967. During this time his sister, Mildred gave his name to a college
friend and they became pen pals. He was introduced to his pen pal, (Lucye) Jaine Mitchell, in
1965 at Texas Women’s University in Denton, Texas.
This meeting led to John and Jaine’s marriage on October 1, 1966. John was deployed on
a Westpac trip one month after their marriage. In 1967, John and Jaine had their first child, a
daughter, Jovanna. He returned after her birth and was transferred to the USS Norton Sound,
stationed in Oxnard, CA. John was then transferred to his first shore duty at the Naval
Amphibious base in Coronado, CA. During this tour of duty, a son was born, John R. Derrough
Jr. John decided to look at another branch of service in order to spend more time with his
John was discharged from the Navy and five days later in September, 1971 he enlisted in
the U.S. Air Force and was stationed at March AFB in Riverside, CA. He was then transferred
to Anderson, AFB located on Guam, in the Marianas Islands in 1972. John and Jaine lived on
Guam until 1977 and he was then transferred to Edwards AFB, in Lancaster, CA. John was
stationed at Edwards AFB until 1982 when he retired after a total of 20 years military service.
After the military, John returned to San Diego and was employed by the City of
Coronado as a Swimming Pool Maintenance technician where he maintained four swimming
pools for the city and was only the 2 nd African American hired by the City of Coronado. John
retired from the City of Coronado after a back injury in 1997 with 15 years of service.
After this retirement, John became the steward of his family and neighborhood. He
chauffeured grandchildren, cooked meals, and shopped for his family. He became the mayor of
his street and initiated the Coolwater Dr Block Party for ten years. John enjoyed watching old
western and football. He was devoted to his wife and family and always had a conversation for
anyone with a listening ear.
After a courageous battle, John passed away peacefully with his wife by his side on May
John was preceded in death by his parents, sister Lou Ella Carter, brother Jesse, niece
Rene Nweze and sister Mildred Pope.
John is survived by his wife of 54 years, (Lucye) Jaine, daughter Jovanna, son John Jr.;
grandchildren Jovanna Peterson, Alyssa Goodwin-Derrough (Breanna), Ryan Derrough
(Mercedes), Sasha Gausman, Sylvanna Derrough, Mikayla Derrough Harrell, Sienna Derrough,
and Emani Derrough; great-grandchildren Carson, Kennedy, Ella, and Jules.
Nieces and nephews Frederika Burton, Pamela Johnson Lee (Ron), Stephanie Carter Singleton
(Patrick), Carolyn Carter Carraway (Elvie), Benjamin Carter (Shelia), Rhonda Linton (Leon),
Broderick Derrough, Marquis Derrough (Dina), and LaToria Derrough (Grace), and a host of
A special acknowledgment to his extended family circle: daughters of the hear,
Anitra Willis,Cylnthia Long, and LeShema Blake,
granddaughters of the heart,
Asiah Williams and Chelsea Solis,
and his Coolwater Drive family.
The Celebration of Life service will be Livestreamed at
A "walk-through" viewing will be Thursday, June 3rd from 5pm-7pm at Anderson-Ragsdale Mortuary.
A service on Friday 11:00am at Lemon Grove United Methodist .
Burial at Miramar National Cemetery.
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