Cover photo for Derek Emery's Obituary
Derek Emery Profile Photo
1987 Derek 2023

Derek Emery

January 13, 1987 — November 30, 2023


Derek Emery, age 36, of Yankton, South Dakota died unexpectedly on Thursday, November 30, 2023 at his home in Yankton.

A memorial service will be held at 3:00 PM, on Sunday, December 10, 2023 at Wintz & Ray Funeral Home in Yankton.  Burial will be in the Garden of Memories Cemetery in Yankton.  The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service on Sunday.

Pallbearers are Dominik Emery, Catalina Santiago, Karmen Baya Emery-Gallardo, Dom Stands and Khloe Emery.  Honorary pallbearers are Dustin Emery, David Novak, Brennan Novak, Wilian Estevez Santa Cruz, Donavon Pinkston, Walt Hampton, Cameron Eskins, Josh O’Gorman, Shawn Marshall, Cody Binder and Andonn Person.

Derek was born January 13, 1987 in Yankton, South Dakota to David and Dawn (Novak) Emery.  He grew up in Yankton and attended Yankton High School where he was active in the choir.  Derek was also very active in Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and worked out at the Boy Scout Camp for many years.  He was so close to becoming an Eagle Scout.  Derek worked at Bonanza for many years and then worked overnights at HyVee before becoming involved in construction.  He worked for several companies throughout the years and was really a jack of all trades.  Derek had a son, Dominik, with Amanda Steffen (Novak) and they lived together on an acreage near Crofton, NE and then moved to Omaha, NE for a short time.  Derek then moved back to Yankton and worked at Intek, Pizza Hut, and then Menards as a manager, which he thoroughly enjoyed.  

Derek was a die-hard Dallas Cowboys fan.  He enjoyed collecting magic cards and sports cards.  He enjoyed being outdoors, fishing and hunting mushrooms.  Derek also loved the 4th of July and was a bit of a pyrotechnic.  He loved animals of all kinds and had many pets during his life. Derek enjoyed cooking and made many memories with his family in the kitchen. Music was a large part of Derek’s life and he enjoyed going to concerts. He loved the metal band, Slipknot, and saw them in concert at least four times. Derek always dreamed of being a pilot and living in Alaska.  He and Dominik also talked about going and visiting Grandma Pook in England when Dominik graduated High School.  Derek Emery will be missed by all who knew and loved him.

Derek is survived by his son, Dominik Emery of Crofton, NE; mother, Dawn Emery of Yankton; sister, DeAnna Emery of Yankton; brother, Dustin Emery (MaDonna Stands) of Yankton; grandmother, Grace Pook of Kent, England; many aunts and uncles including David and Amy Novak, Jeanette Overbaugh and Dean and Melissa Emery; as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Derek was preceded in death by his father, David Emery; maternal grandparents, Laddie and Saundra Novak; and paternal grandfather, Donald Emery.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Derek Emery, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Starts at 3:00 pm

Wintz & Ray Funeral Home – Yankton

2901 Douglas Ave, Yankton, SD 57078

The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service.

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