Fifty years ago, Bill Derrick Sr. decided to venture out on his own, beginning Derrick Construction in New Richmond. Over the next 50 years, the business has grown into one of the largest multi-dimensional construction companies in western Wisconsin and the eastern Twin Cities metro area.

Last Tuesday, Derrick died at The Deerfield in New Richmond. He was 89. His death came six months after the death of his wife, Mary Ann. They were married in 1953.

Derrick Companies has grown into a commercial and residential contracting and development company which now has more than 70 employees in its different divisions.

The Derricks settled in New Richmond in 1960 when they purchased a 320-acre farm. Bill also worked as a carpenter. That led to his daring decision to begin a construction business in 1967, starting the business in the basement of their home.

Derrick Companies builds 40-plus custom homes each year as well as numerous manufacturing, healthcare, church and professional buildings. For several years running, Derrick Companies has been honored with the Accredited Quality Contractor status for its commitment to excellence in construction, its workforce and the communities it helps build.

Derrick Companies celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2017.

The company is the story of two families, one whose generations built a successful, seasoned company on the foundation Bill Sr. forged with his own hands and a second family of loyal employees who have seen the company through thick and thin.

In 1990, after 23 years, Bill Derrick Sr. turned the reins to his construction business over to his three sons Bill Jr., Tom, Ron and long-time associate, Mike Stevens. While Bill technically retired at that time, he remained active in the business and active in the community.

The dedication to the community showed in Bill's involvement in the Kiwanis organization, where he was honored recently as a 50-year member. He was also involved in construction organizations at the local, state and national level. He was heavily involved in the start of the local Homebuilders Association chapter.

Bill and Mary Ann are survived by five children, 12 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.