On February 27, 1951, in Baltimore, Maryland, Derek R. Felton Sr. entered the world as the second child of Delores Martin and Theodore Rose. He passed away March 12, 2022, at his home in Upper Darby, PA.
Derek attended Baltimore City Public Schools and later earned an Associates Degree in Hotel/Restaurant Management from WOR-WIC Technical and Community College in Salisbury, MD. He had been an active member of the food community since 1978 serving as Executive Chef for Sheraton Hotels, General Manager for Marriott Hotels, Director of Food Services for Freedom Development Corporation and most recently Community Organizing Coordinator for The Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger.
"Ricky", as he was affectionately called, enjoyed serving and helping others. He strongly believed that NO ONE should go hungry. Derek's knowledge of food, nutrition and community coupled with his own personal experience overcoming poverty were the groundwork for Derek's becoming a hunger advocate. To this end, he founded Fresh Start in 2006, a non-profit organization supporting the fight against hunger, and served as its Executive Director until his death. Derek earned many certifications in the food industry; his hard work and dedication earned him many awards and recognitions.
Derek was preceded in death by his parents, one sister - Deborah Foster, two brothers - Gregory Felton and Howard Martin and his father-in-law - Rhuel Goslee.
Derek leaves to forever cherish his memories his wife of forty-four years - Marlene Felton (Upper Darby, PA); two sisters - Kim Pender, Crystal (Robert) Lawson, one brother - Antoine Howard (all of Baltimore, MD); a devoted daughter - Dana Felton (Bowie, MD); his namesake - Derek "Ricky" Felton, Jr. (Upper Darby, PA); three step-children - Verlena Dawn Stanford (Glen Burnie, MD), Alonzo Morris, Jr. (Delaware), and Christa (Louis "Chip") Williams (Lansdowne, PA); and one foster daughter - Netsanet (Eric) Cushing (Exton, PA). Additionally, he leaves 17 grandchildren including five granddaughters (Lansdowne, PA) who he would refer to only by nicknames he assigned to them - Nechelle "Woodie" Wooten, Kiarra "Rockie" Williams, Kristen "Oops" Williams, Imani "Twitter" Williams and Lael "Wendy" Williams; mother-in law - Sylvia Goslee (San Domingo, MD); three sisters-in law - Patsy Wragg (Baltimore, MD), Sheila (Kenneth) Carter (Salisbury, MD) and Yvette Goslee (Bowie, MD); three brothers-in-law - Gregory (Delores) Cole (Hartley, DE), Eric Goslee (Salisbury, MD) and Derrick (Cindy) Goslee (Middletown, DE); a host of nieces, nephews, great-grandchildren, his Coalition family and Fresh Start supporters, other family members, neighbors and friends. Derek also took great pleasure in his grand-dog Prince whom he adopted as his own and affectionately called "Pooh".
A memorial service will be held at a later date. Details will be posted on this site.
Submitted in Triumph for a Life of Service and concern for others.
A SILENT TEAR
Just close your eyes and you will see
All the memories that you have of me
Just sit and relax and you will find
I'm really still there inside your mind
Don't cry for me now I'm gone
For I am in the land of song
There is no pain, there is no fear
So dry away that silent tear
Don't think of me in the dark and cold
For here I am, no longer old
I'm in that place that's filled with love
Known to you all, as "up above"
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