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Derksen passes on, is mourned by city officials

Ron Derksen, former Pine River City Council member, passed away at his home July 29 from terminal cancer. His former fellow council members remember him as someone who stood for what he believed in.

“He was always pretty feisty. He always had his own opinion, which I appreciated very much,” said Pine River Mayor Jim Sabas. “He was definitely not a yes person on the council. He fought for what he believed in. He always had a good laugh from time to time. He just seemed to be an all-around honest guy. He was truthful in what he did. He never said anything he didn’t mean.”

“Ronnie Derksen was a person who told it like it was. He wasn’t afraid to say what he thought and if you didn’t agree, well, you were entitled to your own opinion. His work ethic was strong and he wasn’t one to accept charity or help. He was one of a kind and I was honored to consider him a friend,” said Pine River City Clerk Wanda Mongan.

Derksen was a member of the council from 2006 to March 31, 2013. He was originally elected to fill a vacancy left by outgoing council member Rob Jesse, and was re-elected alongside Tamara Hansen in 2008. He resigned from his position following a diagnosis of terminal cancer to spend time with his family.

During his time with the council he served as a liaison to the sewer district board, and then served on the airport commission until his resignation from the council.

“He was a good person to have on there, because he told the commission what the city required of them and what the city was going to do with the airport from time to time. And he wasn’t just a yes person for them, either. He always brought back news that he stood up for what he knew was right,” Sabas said. “He helped the city a lot in that respect.”