Derk S. Philippona, age 65, passed away on Monday, March 2, 2020 surrounded by his loving family at his home in Niceville, FL. He fought a courageous 6-year battle with cancer. Born on July 13, 1954, Derk was the eldest son of the late Hannelore Zinnen and Theodorus Philippona. He spent his childhood in the Turks & Cacios Islands, moving to Gordon, AL at the age of 13. After serving 4 years in the US Air Force, he went on to earn his B.S. in mechanical engineering from Auburn University and later his M.S. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He enjoyed an impressive 36-year career at Pratt & Whitney in Florida and Connecticut, serving as Augmentor Chief Engineer. He made key contributions to the design of the afterburners on the F-15, F-16, F-22 and F-35 military fighter jets.
Derk was a devoted and loving husband, father and friend. He had a brilliant mind with a humble spirit and a kind, generous heart; always being the first to lend a helping hand to anyone in need. Derk loved scuba diving, snow skiing, and fast cars. He had a true appreciation for nature and loved dogs.
Derk will be dearly missed by his wife Donna, of 34 years, and their children: Lauren, Erica, and Luke; his siblings Sheila, Kim, Reinier and their families; mother in-law, brother and sister in-law, nieces, nephews, and many friends.
A Celebration of Life will be held at noon on Monday, March 9, 2020 at the Point Washington United Methodist Church in Santa Rosa Beach, FL. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Bob Woodruff Foundation supporting veterans, the United Congregational Church of Tolland or the Point Washington United Methodist Church.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Derk S Philippona, please visit our floral store.