Cover photo for Reta A. Derx's Obituary
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1936 Reta 2019

Reta A. Derx

February 16, 1936 — February 27, 2019

Cuba – Reta A. Derx    

            Reta Ann (Nicklas) Derx was born on February 16, 1936, in Olean, the daughter of Paul J. and Ruth Ann (Sackinger) Nicklas. She was welcomed in heaven, on February 27, 2019. Reta passed suddenly with a heart attack. Though heart wrenching for all of those who loved her, we know God answered her prayers to bring her home quickly.  To reflect on her life with us brings memories of joy encircled with the love, laughter, and smiles that she shared so freely with all of her family and friends.

            Reta was a woman of deep faith, who’s greatest gift to all who knew her was an unbreakable, unceasing faith that enables us to withstand any trials in life. Her faith journey began early in life, guided by her mother, Ruth, whom Reta lost when she was just 18 years old. She found tremendous strength and peace through the reading of the Serenity Prayer and the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi. They were her guiding principles for life. Daily bible readings also brought her peace and joy. She has been described as “one of the kindest people” who’s love for others shown in the twinkle in her eyes.

            Reta was a full-time wife and mother for decades. She dedicated her life to supporting and loving her family to enable them to grow and succeed in all aspects of life.  A lifetime member of St. Bonaventure's Church, Reta also worked as a librarian aide at St. Bonaventure Parochial School for 3 years, in the 1970's.  At the age of 50, Reta went to work with her husband, Donald, to manage the accounting office at Henry H. Hill, Inc., their family business. Despite those incredibly busy days at work, Reta never hesitated to help her family and everyone she came in contact with through her work. Her career at Henry H. Hill spanned over 30 years, as she just recently stopped going to “the shop” every day due to limited mobility.

            Reta’s life will be honored in loving memory by her husband of 64 years, Donald, and their children. She is survived by their children, Diane (Eric) Derx Finch, Thomas (Cathy) Derx, Carol (Bill) Derx Walker, and Mary Derx-Robinson. She was also blessed with beautiful grandchildren and great grandchildren who honor her memory and the joy she brought them through her ability to love so very deeply: Sean Finch, Jared (fiancée Kaela) Finch, Elizabeth (Dan) Derx Hager, Matthew (Noelle) Derx, Michelle (James) Walker Damiecki, Heather (Josh) Walker Strait, Justin (Olivia) Walker, Heather Anne George, Derrick Robinson, and Nicklas Robinson. Reta has eleven great grandchildren.  Reta is also survived by one sister, Mary (Thomas) Nicklas Petro and many nieces and nephews.  She was predeceased and is enjoying great chats in heaven with her granddaughter Kristy Danielle Walker and a great grandchild angel.

            Visitation will be at the Letro-McIntosh-Spink Funeral Home Inc., 646 E. State St., Olean, on Monday, March 4, 2019 from  4:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Bonaventure Parish, in Allegany on Tuesday, March 5, 2019 at 10:00AM.  The Rev. James Vacco, Pastor, will celebrate.  Burial will be in St. Bonaventure Cemetery in Allegany.

            Online condolences may be made at  Donations may be made, in Reta’s honor, to The Rehabilitation Center, 1439 Buffalo St., Olean, NY 14760 (  or the S.P.C.A. in Cattaraugus County, PO Box 375, Olean, NY 14760 (

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

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, March 4, 2019

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

Letro-McIntosh-Spink Funeral Home, Inc - OLEAN

646 East State St., Olean, NY 14760

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Mass of Christian Burial

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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