Derek Lee Wandler, 34, left us way to soon on the evening of October 18th, 2018. Derek was born December 21, 1983 in Anaconda, MT to Stacie Huff and Mark Wandler. He started his passion for hunting at a young age with his grandpa Larry and best friend Jimmy Johnson never far behind. Derek was blessed with his baby brother Justen in 1995. Derek graduated from Anaconda Senior High and then joined the Army. He reported to active duty at Fort Sill in Lawton, Oklahoma. He was transferred to Missouri for heavy truck training, where he received his motor transportation operators certificate. At the end of his duty he was at Fort Missoula in Missoula, MT. He married Daryl Jackson in 2008 and from that marriage they had 3 children. They later divorced.
Derek had his hand in many jobs. Driving trucks, working for Knife River, and the oil rigs in North Dakota to name a few. He moved to Billings MT.
In August of 2017, he met the love of his life and eternal soul mate Stacy Lewis Dick. They got engaged July 31, 2018 and started really planning for the future.
Derek loved the outdoors. Hunting and fishing were passions of his, and this past spring and summer they went fishing every chance they got. He didn’t really care if he caught anything, he just loved being on the water in his favorite chair with his pole in the water and a beer in his hand. He had the “best summer ever” he’d say. Derek took his kids to California and played on the beaches, then went to Disneyland and hung out by the pool. They loved to go hiking in and around Red Lodge, to relax and just breathe. Derek was an adrenaline junkie. Dare devil through and through. No one really ever liked to drive with him. Derek did have a huge heart and the ones closest to him knew it. He was a fierce protector of the ones he loved. He finally now knows how much he was truly loved.
Derek is survived by his fiancé Stacy, Derek’s little “Spam” and new daughter Sami Dick whom he loved immensely; his mother Stacie Huff, and father Mark Wandler; brother Justen Day, and his children Ashton and Bella. Derek is also survived by his 3 precious children and his great, great loves Taytum, Shawn and Arayla Wandler; his grandfather Larry Huff; uncles Timothy, Daniel, and Duane Wandler, and uncle Jeff Shell and their children Shane, Casey, Jamie Ray, Daniel, Demerara, Courtney, Amber and Levi; and aunt Denise Blenkkenk and her son Parker.
He is preceded in death by his grandparents Rolene Gee Huff, Wilbert Wandler, Dolores Rae Wandler; uncle Danny Wandler, and aunt Cathy Shell.
A memorial service will be held at 2:00 P.M. Saturday, October 27, 2018 at Heights Family Funeral Home in Billings. Derek will be taken home to Anaconda and laid to rest with full military honors on November 10, 2018 at 2:00 P.M. Services will be at Gateway Christian Fellowship Church, 300 E 4th St Anaconda, MT.
We wanted you to stay but you were tired and needed to go home. Love you forever and ever Derek Lee Wandler. We hope you now know just how much you are loved.