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Born: Aug 28, 1957

Date of Passing: Dec 31, 2020

Offer Condolences or Memory Make a donation to CancerCare Manitoba Foundation CancerCare Manitoba Foundation

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Derek Alyn Thorsteinson was born on August 28, 1957 in Winnipeg. He passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by his wife and children, on December 31, 2020.
Derek will be deeply missed by his wife Lori, children, Erin (Adam), Jeff (Lisa), Dallas and Jasmine (Mik). He was a proud grandpa to Evan, Cole, Taylor, Allie and Charlie. Left to cherish memories are his siblings, Ellery (Maureen), Patti (John) and Dallas; and many nieces, nephews, extended family and friends. Derek's connection with the Archibald family was extremely precious to him. He was predeceased by his mother Delma and father Erik.
Derek grew up in St. Vital, graduated from Dakota Collegiate and completed his Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Manitoba. He worked as a Banker with CIBC and later entered the Building Industry running Parkhill Homes for over 30 years. Derek was well known and respected in the Building Industry across Canada receiving many awards and accolades along the way. He was President of MHBA twice and was the Technical Research Rep from Manitoba for CHBA. His dedication, knowledge and technical expertise were sought after by many, leading to lifelong friendships of which he valued immensely. Derek volunteered throughout his life both personally and professionally. From coaching ringette/hockey to being on various boards he enjoyed helping his community.
Derek loved music, skiing, fishing, hockey, golfing and travelling. He travelled the world with the love of his life, bringing home countless treasures and stories. You would often find him at the piano, playing a tune and singing at the top of his lungs with a double Jack on the rocks within reach. He also had a great fondness for his Harley, being able to complete his dream ride spring of 2019. One of his favourite places on earth was the lake where many projects, laughs and memories were created with his family. You could often find him lying in the sun and soaking up the rays.
The past two and a half years of his life were spent fighting after receiving his cancer diagnosis. He did so with exceptional strength and grace, always making sure humour and love were part of his therapy. He left this earth exactly how he lived his life, on his own terms.
We will remember him for his larger than life smile and laugh, his big bear hugs and his spontaneity. His compelling presence and confidence captivated all those in the room. When we look up we hope to see you playing amongst the stars big guy.
We will hold a celebration in Derek's honour at a later date.
Thank you to all who were part of Derek's care. The teams at CancerCare Manitoba, Southern Health Palliative Care and MAiD. Donations can be made to CancerCare Foundation of Manitoba, Prostate Cancer.

For those who wish to sign the online
Guest Book please visit

Chapel Lawn Funeral Home

Publish Date: Jan 9, 2021


Derek passed away peacefully at home in the early afternoon of Thursday, December 31.
A longer notice will follow.

For those who wish to sign the online
Guest Book please visit

Chapel Lawn Funeral Home

Publish Date: Jan 5, 2021

Make a donation to CancerCare Manitoba Foundation

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jan 05, 2021, Jan 09, 2021

Condolences & Memories (33 entries)

  • I am sure that I speak for my family members (Simmons, Hinton, Boyds, and Dowds) in passing our thoughts, thanks and prayers for our good neighbour, Derek, who was always happy and helpful to us. We extend a hand to his family to assist in any way we can at our cottages. Rest In Peace, Derek. - Posted by: Lee Simmons (Neighbour at the lake) on: Jan 22, 2021

  • Dear Lori and Family Bernice and I were so saddened to see that Derek passed. He was so full of life all the time and it appeared nothing made him waver from his goals. Certainly in your construction company he was always steadfast and completed his business dealings in respectful manner. If Derek said something you knew he would complete it as stated. Peace be with you all and be safe. Sincerely Gordon and Bernice Lawrie - Posted by: Gordon and Bernice Lawrie (Friends) on: Jan 22, 2021

  • We met Dereck and Lori through our participation with the Headingley Chamber of Commerce. We had a number of talks and had the opportunity to spend some time on the golf course during the Chamber annual Golf Tournament. Derek was always joking, happy and in the moment. We had great conversations with him and Lori and he will be missed. All our best to Lori and the Family as they learn how to deal with their loss. - Posted by: Tim and Debora Durnin Richards (Aquaintance) on: Jan 17, 2021

  • My most vivid memories of Derek were that he always lived life large like "Thor" the God of Thunder ... it was the giant bonfires on Turcotte Cove (which allowed my son to sit inside a fire truck late one night)... the back breaking bear hugs upon arriving at his home... or sipping on a not so smooth JD ... it was easy to see him as a modern day Viking!!! I knew Derek both professionally (he built me the best house I ever owned) and as a friend and neighbor. I will miss him dearly... You are in Valhalla now Derek ...I'm sure you are at the head of the longship.... thank you for the good times and great memories. - Posted by: Murray Ross (Friend) on: Jan 14, 2021

  • My heartfelt condolences on the passing of Derek. I came to know Derek and Lori a tiny bit, when Derek would come to Ottawa for the National Housing meetings. I always admired his big-picture thinking and hearty approach. He never held back and he fought for the industry and homeowners with all of his heart. He reminded me of a Viking Warrior. He did so much good. I will remember him always. - Posted by: Joan Maisonneuve (Work Colleague) on: Jan 14, 2021

  • Dear Lori, family and friends my deepest sympathies go out to all. Derek was a wonderful friend always there when you needed anything. I will miss him and want to thank you for being a friend as well. Lori if you need anything and I can help please call. Keep yourself and your family safe. My thoughts are with you at this difficult time. - Posted by: Julie Roscoe (Friend) on: Jan 12, 2021

  • Lori, Erin, Jeff, Dallas & Jasmine, I am sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to the whole family. Derek was a hard working, smart and enjoyed life. I learnt a lot from him while I worked there. - Posted by: Melissa Demmers (Malo) (Associate) on: Jan 12, 2021

  • I met Derek and Lori several times, after they first moved into the beautiful home they built. A group of friends helped to move the family in, that very memorable day. I remember how kind Derek and Lori were, making us all feel at home, offering us endless pizza, beer, and fun, while playing pool etc all night. Several of us stayed up late and I remember Derek hanging out with us, and I thought he was such a cool dad. The next morning upon leaving, we realized my old reck of a car and leaked oil all over their driveway. I tried to scrub it clean with anything and everything I could find, but it was no use. Of course, being the kind hearted person Derek was, he assured me it was ok and not to worry about it. He may have cursed me to others when I left...I know I would have!! ha ha. I was so very sorry to hear of his diagnosis a couple of years ago and am really sorry to hear about his passing. I hope the memories you have last a lifetime. Thinking of you all. - Posted by: Jennifer Lancaster (Howe) (Old friend of Erin and Adam) on: Jan 12, 2021

  • Dearest Lori and family. We were so saddened to hear of Derek's passing. There are so many great memories we have had with you and Derek from travelling, cruising and get togethers with neighbours and friends on Turcotte Cove and Mayfield Crescent. We will be forever grateful for the house Derek had built us on Mayfield. It was wonderful to see Derek when he stayed with us in Penticton on his last big Harley ride. Thor the Thunder God (AKA Thunderod) was larger than life and will forever be in our hearts. I hope they allow Jack Daniel’s in Valhalla! Farewell big man. Bob and Gwen Watson - Posted by: Bob and Gwen Watson (Friends) on: Jan 11, 2021

  • Thank you, Derek for being my mentor and friend. You opened my eyes, made me laugh out loud when I didn’t think it was possible, showed me that every coin has three sides, and helped me find my business backbone. Your larger than life smile and personality will be missed. But I will forever keep in my heart and mind everything you have taught me about strength, perseverance, and overcoming the impossible. - Posted by: Lori Crandell (Colleague ) on: Jan 11, 2021

  • Lori, we offer our deepest condolences to you and your family. Derek will be missed dearly by so many. Unfortunately, his was not a life lived long enough, but a life incredibly well lived. Most sincerely, Chris and Dave Henry - Posted by: Chris Carpenter and Dave Henry (Friends) on: Jan 10, 2021

  • Lori and family, I was truly saddened to learn of Derek’s passing. He and I connected in 2011 as we undertook to build a new lodge for Variety the Children’s Charity of Manitoba. The Parkhill team built a beautiful lodge and Derek was instrumental in significantly lowering the overall costs by tapping into his sphere of influence. What you see today at Camp Brereton would not have been possible without Derek’s kindness. We had a lot of good laughs which I can still hear echoing in my head. My sincere condolences to your family. - Posted by: Jim Grapentine (Friend) on: Jan 10, 2021

  • Dear Lori and family. So very sorry for your loss. I certainly remember Derek from the bank. Also, saw you often at Parkhill Homes during many Parade of Homes. - Posted by: Debbie (Co-worker from CIBC) on: Jan 10, 2021

  • Thinking of you during this difficult time. Although we didn’t know Derek well, we looked forward to his humor and zest for life. Offering our condolences and sympathies. - Posted by: Trevor and Nancy Mohr (Lake neighbor) on: Jan 09, 2021

  • Dear Lori and Family, thinking of you and sending our deepest condolences. Tom and Bev - Posted by: Tom and Bev Shettler (Friends) on: Jan 09, 2021

  • So sorry to learn of Derek's passing. Long ago and circumstances permitting, I would walk Dereck home from Hasting's and sometimes from Dakota. I lived further away than he did, so he got a longer lunch! He was always a warm and kind fellow. Though I have not seen him for years, I know he will be deeply missed. He was just that kind of guy. Deepest condolences to all the family. - Posted by: Sidney Q Macaw (long ago friend from Hastings and Dakota) on: Jan 09, 2021

  • Lori, Erin, Jeff, Dallas, Jasmine and families, It seems surreal to imagine your world without Derek. Hopefully, he and Nora are sitting having a laugh and a drink together. I truly enjoyed the opportunity to work closely with and learn from Derek. He was definitely a hard worker but enjoyed his down time too. Taken far too early I'm sure all who knew him will miss his larger than life persona. My thoughts are with all of you at this difficult time, Derek will not be forgotten. Leigh - Posted by: Leigh Rattenbury (Associate and friend) on: Jan 09, 2021

  • I will never forget you two. God bless. - Posted by: Patricia Thompson Cosgrove (Steno friend) on: Jan 09, 2021

  • Lori and family, I offer my condolences to you. Derek was truly a gentleman and will be a great loss to many people. My prayers for you as you grieve his loss. Blessings to you. - Posted by: Ron Derksen (Business ) on: Jan 09, 2021

  • Lori and family we do not have the words to convey our sorrow upon learning of this news today. He was such a presence, so happy, so full of fun and just a great guy. He deeply loved you Lori and he was so very proud of his family and never shy to let everyone know it. He built a home for us in Headingley but he wasn't just our builder. He was always there whenever we needed him. We weren't just neighbours back then, we became friends. We are so sorry for the loss of this great guy. Our prayers are with you all and our memories will be treasured forever. - Posted by: Marianne and Blaine Troup (Friends) on: Jan 09, 2021

  • Our sincere condolences to Laurie and the family! Derek was a true lover of good times! He was the kind of guy who made the best of every situation he was in whether it was good or bad!always the life of the party and leader of good times. He was taken much too young! He will be missed by one and all! We are praying for Derek and all his family - Posted by: Grant and Patricia engel (Old neighbors and friends ) on: Jan 09, 2021

  • Our hearts go out to Lori and Family. We are greatly saddened by the loss of our favorite Viking. Because he was larger than life, but also a large man, he had many little brothers and sisters whom he loved dearly. His grizzly bear hugs were memorable and always welcome. I was fortunate to be on the last ride with Derek, Erik and Mark. We had an absolute blast with a great ride, amazing scenic vistas and awesome seafood. Even the awful day of high winds and pounding rain in Saskatchewan ended with Black Russians and a hot tub toasting the wild day. We will miss you buddy. Lots of Love. - Posted by: Ben Rosentreter and Lee-Ann Cotton (friends) on: Jan 09, 2021

  • We are so honoured that our paths crossed through our life journey. Derek will be remembered as a big ball of “sunshine”. He was so caring, passionate and welcoming to all of us. Our entire family send your family our deepest Condolences. Derek will be deeply missed. - Posted by: Isaac Family ( Cousin to Lori) on: Jan 09, 2021

  • Lori and family; Our condolences on your loss. The home that Parkhill built for us in 2004 allowed us to meet you both and we are grateful for your expertise and kindness. - Posted by: Len and Lynne Alexiuk (owners of a Parkhill built home) on: Jan 09, 2021

  • Dear Lori and family. My sincere condolences. Such a big loss to your family, to the home building industry and to our community. Many years ago, Derek & I were on the same team for a MHBA golf game. I still remember the golf technique tips he offered that day…which resulted in one of my best golf games ever! May he continue to inspire from beyond! Kim - Posted by: Kim Schroeder (Professional Business & Association Friend) on: Jan 08, 2021

  • Nancy and I are very sorry to hear of Derek’s passing. Derek built our first home for us in 1993 just west of Headingley. We really liked working with Derek, he was very kind and very fair and guided us along the way.He made homebuilding fun! One day years later he showed up at our home on his Harley Davidson, with his big smile. Derek was a real gentlemen and he will be missed. - Posted by: Brian Vrooman (Friend) on: Jan 06, 2021

  • Dear Lori & family, so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts are with you during this difficult time. Our deepest sympathies to you & all of your family. Cliff & Brenda Murphy - Posted by: Cliff & Brenda Murphy (Friends) on: Jan 06, 2021

  • Dear Lori and family. So sorry for your loss, my heart goes out to you in this difficult time! Derek was one of a kind - funny, caring, and generous! He will truly be missed!! Laurel - Posted by: Laurel Hanna (Friend ) on: Jan 05, 2021

  • Dear Lori and family Words cannot express our feelings or thoughts on your loss. Our condolences, Brian and Cynthia. - Posted by: Brian Duncan (Friend) on: Jan 05, 2021

  • I had the the district honour of working with Derek while serving with the Canadian Home Builders Association. Derek always brought to the fore the big issues, and was extremely creative. He was bigger than life, he filled the room with energy and passion. He will be deeply missed. - Posted by: Bard Golightly (Professional Business & Association Friend) on: Jan 05, 2021

  • Lori and family, please know we are thinking of you and your family during this difficult time. Such an amazing man and we are honored to have crossed paths. - Posted by: Laurence and Elizabeth Rosenberg (Friends) on: Jan 05, 2021

  • Dear Laurie and family so sorry for your loss of such a wonderful husband and father. Although we havent been in touch please know you have been in our thoughts and prayers. We have many great memories of fun times together. Derek was always so kind and welcoming and Mom so loved coming to visit as we did. Love and hugs, our deepest sympathies to all the family. Cheryl and Don - Posted by: Cheryl and Don Mcpherson (Cousins) on: Jan 05, 2021

  • Lori and family, Carole and are both so sorry. He talked so much about his family and that was his true love. His second, Parkhill Homes of which he had for 30 plus years and we knew each other for 20 and even built us a house. He was a big positive contributor to the building industry and sat on many boards to make a better building group in Manitoba by always looking for improvements to build a better home. His third was his rock and roll and music like me and long time acquaintances with Randy and Burt from the old days. We shared many great parts of our personality with regards to how we ran our businesses and made family a top priority. I will truly miss Derek and I know he knows that based on our relationship. See you one day again my friend. I hope now that any suffering you went through can now be behind you. Kindest regards. Jeff and Carole MacKenzie High Style Publications. - Posted by: Jeffrey MacKenzie (we were both customers to each other) on: Jan 05, 2021

Chapel Lawn Funeral Home & Cemetery

Chapel Lawn Funeral Home & Cemetery

4000 Portage Ave. (Map)
Ph: 2048859715 | Visit Website

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