Elizabeth (Honey) Trueblood Derr

Derr—Elizabeth (Honey) Trueblood Derr, 79, on March 18, 2021, in Oxford, Pa. Honey was born on April 30, 1941, to D. Elton and Pauline Goodenow Trueblood in Palo Alto, Calif. When Honey was four, her family moved to Richmond, Ind., where she grew up as a faculty child on the Earlham College campus. As a young girl, Honey spent most of her summers at the family cottage at Lake Paupac in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. The cottage was designed by her mother and older brother, Arnold. While there, Honey enjoyed adventures with family and friends while her father wrote books. Lake Paupac continued to be a place to celebrate family throughout her life. 

Honey graduated from Westtown School in 1959 and attended Earlham College. She met Dan Derr at Earlham College. Honey and Dan married in 1963.

After living in several places, Honey and Dan found a “diamond in the rough” farm in Conowingo, Md., which they named Spring Valley Farm and molded into a beautiful treasure over the next 47 years. Honey had a love of gardening and plants. She made the most of her gifts of creative vision, determination, and ingenuity, completing the many projects that shaped the memorable landscape of the family farm. Honey passed these gifts to her children and grandchildren by including them in many of the projects. 

For several years, Honey ran a small business called the Spring Valley Farm Garden Shop, where she sold vegetables and flowering plants to the public. Honey and Dan created a “pick your own fruit” business selling blueberries and other fruit. As her three children grew older, she began substitute teaching to supplement the family income. At 45, she began a career as a librarian, which was appropriate given her love of reading. She worked at the Perryville Library and at the Elkton Library, where she was head of circulation. But above all else, Honey was most passionate about raising her three children, with the farm as a unique backdrop for child-rearing. Both fun and firm, she taught her children the virtues of freedom and accountability.

After retirement from the library, Honey assisted her husband in marketing their blueberry growing business. From greeting and assisting customers, to setting price points, to creating and maintaining the website, Honey thrived in the sales and marketing aspects of the business.

Honey was a lifelong member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and attended Deer Creek Meeting in Darlington, Md., with her family for many years. She was well-known for her ability to encourage those with doubts, always looking for ways to help others believe in their gifts.

Honey and Dan moved to Ware Presbyterian Village in Oxford, Pa., in 2017. Honey quickly made many friends and enjoyed the community atmosphere. While at Ware, Honey volunteered with Canine Partners for Life, where she trained a yellow Labrador service dog named Nittany.

Honey was predeceased by brothers Martin Trueblood (Margaret) and Arnold Trueblood (Caroline).

She is survived by her husband, B. Daniel Derr; their three children, Sam Derr (Amanda), Brooke Derr (Dan Feingold), and Nathan Derr; six grandchildren and her brother, Samuel J. Trueblood (Mary Ellen).

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