Editorial by Owner Adam Griffin:
Cancer sucks. I wish it would get cancer and just die, and leave millions and millions of families in tact and never grieving the loss of a loved one.
The Switzerland County community was rocked on May 31, 2017 when they found out one of its native sons was diagnosed with cancer. You say, “that happens all the time, why was this time different?” Well, in short, this time, it was a 31 year old guy with an amazing life ahead of him, a beautiful wife and two gorgeous kids.
I think sometimes we get too caught up in the fact that just because someone is young, they’re invincible and therefore, we think we can just speed our way down life’s highway and not think a thing about stopping to enjoy it.
I met Derek Archer in 1990…our kindergarten year at Jeff-Craig Elementary School. Derek and I became friends at that young age, and remained friends until I moved to a different school corporation about 3/4 of the way through our first grade year. I hated leaving my friend, and, in reality, we lost all contact with each other. It wasn’t until I found out that my cousin Trisha was going to marry Derek that I began to recollect on the memories of those nearly two years as childhood friends.
Derek and Trisha were “cute” together, and I couldn’t have been happier for either of them! Then there were these beautiful kiddos! Not to pull a cheesy line everyone uses, but….”cute kids!”
I have had the honor of becoming friends with Derek’s older brother Adam and would ask occasionally how he was doing in the landscaping business. It seemed as though everything in life was perfect…then….well….reality.
For 11 years, I’ve been a pastor, and I get asked all the time why God would let this happen to such a good person. And my answer….”I don’t know.” And I don’t. Scripture tells us God’s ways and thoughts are so much higher than ours, it would drive me absolutely crazy to even begin to try to understand. Reality…acute myeloid leukemia. Reality…31 years old. Reality….wait, what???
For the last month and half, Derek fought with more courage than anyone ever has. He fought with a family, a slew of friends, and a community rallied all behind him. Battling numerous setbacks of infections and such, Derek fought until God decided he’d fought enough. I can’t explain it, nor can I understand it. Here’s the fact…I don’t even like it. Nor do I have to. But, what I have to do, is realize Derek was here to touch lives and do the things God put him here for. I just have to trust God knows what He’s doing, and God knows Trisha and those two babes need Him more now than ever.
Derek had a contagious smile that lit up a room. A contagious zeal for life that made you want to enjoy yours more. And a love for his wife, and his kids that was honoring to God, and an example to the rest of us.
When reality kicks you in the teeth, which I feel like this has…being 31 myself with a wife and two kids…learn something. #1: be thankful for the time God has given you and live it to the fullest. #2: men, love your wife and kids with everything you have and spend every minute you can with them you can, because you aren’t promised another breath.
Trisha, I can make a promise to you…you and your two beautiful babies are loved by more than just your family. This community loves you. And we are here for you.
Alan and Michelle, thank you for raising such a fine young man. For setting him on the right path and instilling in him the upstanding characteristics you did.
Visitation for Derek will take place on Monday July 24th from 1pm to 7pm at the Switzerland County High School. Funeral service will be at 7pm on Monday July 24th at the high school. A private interment and graveside service for the family will take place at a later time.
Memorials in honor of Derek can be contributed to an education fund for Derek’s children through the funeral home or given to his wife Trisha.
One final thought…in light of Derek’s passing, I implore that you keep another young man in your prayers as he battles cancer. Travis Griffith is a husband, a father to young kids, and a fixture at Switzerland County Elementary School. Continue praying for him and his family as his fight continues.
Here is the published obituary from Haskell and Morrison funeral home in Vevay:
Mr. Derek Alan Archer, age 31, of Moorefield, Indiana, entered this life on August 22, 1985, in Madison, Indiana, the loving son of, Alan J. Archer and Michelle Lynn (Holder) Wind. He was raised in Moorefield, Indiana where he grew up on the family farm. Derek was a 2004 graduate of the Switzerland County High School in Vevay, Indiana. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in 2008 in landscape and horticulture design from Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana. Derek was united in marriage to the love of his life, Trisha Rae Allen. This happy union was blessed with two children, James Hudson and Poppy Louise. Derek and Trisha shared nine loving years of marriage together until he lost his courageous battle with leukemia. Derek was currently employed as a landscape designer for Bella Outdoors in Burlington, Kentucky, for the past two years. He was a former landscape designer for Brentwood Inc. in Alexandria, Kentucky, for eight years. Derek was raised in the Brushy Fork Baptist Church in Pleasant, Indiana. Derek will be remembered for his love of his adoring children, his family, riding his ATV ranger and raising giant pumpkins every year. Derek will be deeply missed by his loving family and abundance of friends. The past seven weeks, Derek put up a courageous fight with leukemia with his family right beside him cheering him on and praying for him. Derek’s battle ended with his loving family by his side at 6:50 a.m., Wednesday, July 19, 2017, at the Norton Women’s and Children’s Hospital in St. Matthews, Kentucky.
Derek will be deeply missed by his loving wife: Trisha Rae Archer of Moorefield, IN; his son: James Hudson Archer of Moorefield, IN; his daughter: Poppy Louise Archer of Moorefield, IN; his father: Alan J. Archer and his companion: Carlyn Wilburn of Pleasant, IN; his mother: Michelle Wind of Madison, IN; his brother: Adam Archer and his wife: Carly of Moorefield, IN; his nieces and nephews: Halle, Adalyn, Beckham and Jett; his paternal-grandparents: John D. and Mary Leo (Lewis) Archer of Moorefield, IN; his maternal-grandparents: Carol Ann (Lee) Holder Williams and her husband: Milford of Bennington, IN; his father-in-law and mother-in-law: Greg and Traci Pavy of Vevay, IN; his father-in-law and mother-in-law: Rodney Allen of Ridgeland, SC; his brother-in-law: Tyler Allen and his fiancée: Heather Thomas of Vevay, IN; his maternal grandparents-in-law: James and Sharon Ray of Vevay, IN and his several aunts, uncles, cousins and abundance of friends.
He was preceded in death by his maternal-grandfather: Earl Holder, died July 23, 1991; his paternal-great-grandfather: John Kendrick “Ken” Archer, died April 24, 1982; his paternal-great-grandmother: Elberta Mae (Osborn) Archer, died June 6, 1999; his maternal-great-grandparents: Robert and Nellie (Puckett) Holder; his maternal-great-grandparents: Charles and Thelma (King) Lee; his paternal-great-grandfather: Clyde A. Lewis, died January 2, 2001 and his paternal-great-grandmother: Leona (Fish) Lewis, died November 16, 1995.
Friends may call 1:00 pm – 7:00 pm, Monday, July 24, 2017, at the Switzerland County High School, 1020 West Main Street Vevay, Indiana 47043.
Funeral services will be conducted Monday, July 24, 2017, at 7:00 pm, by Pastor Chris Clemans at the Switzerland County High School, 1020 West Main Street Vevay, Indiana 47043.
Private Graveside Services and Interment will be held at the convenience of the family in the Caledonia Cemetery, Moorefield, Indiana
Memorial contributions may be made to the Education Fund for Derek’s children % Trisha Archer. Cards are available at the funeral home.