D-Man’s life in Pictures
Derrik Michael Flahive was an adventurer; he lived large. Derrik journeyed many places in just 20 years. He spent two summers working as a raft guide. He spent a month in China in early 2011 studying international economics. Derrik traveled to Africa three times, once to climb Kilimanjaro and see the Serengeti, the other two as hunting safaris with his father, Roger. Derrik also worked hard as a young man to ride faster and longer than his older sisters on two family bike trips through Europe. He always beat them. But travel and the outdoors alone do not define Derrik. Derrik was many things and it was his curiosity that drove his spirit. Curiosity caused Derrik to take an adventure, talk to a stranger, read great books, play instruments and succeed at athletics. These different, and sometimes competing, interests shaped Derrik’s world-view. They allowed him to be present at all times and live in the moment. Derrik’s journey with us ended on November 15, 2011. But Derrik died as he lived, outdoors and in the moment. While our sadness and loss are great, our memories are greater. It is because Derrik lived large and adventured that we have such spectacular memories.
Derrik Michael Flahive died November 15, 2011 in a drowning accident in the wilds of Chilean Patagonia. He was studying International Business and Economics in Chile his junior year fall semester while attending Colby College in Waterville, Maine. At the time of the accident, he was with a great friend Samuel experiencing all the wonders that Patagonia has to offer.
Derrik had recently traveled for a month across the breadth of China in January 2011, studying the great economic miracle of the Asian superpower.
Derrik was an important member of the Colby lacrosse team and loved the camaraderie unique to team sports. He played drums with a passion, was part of the African Drum Ensemble at Colby, and played often with whoever was up for a gig.
Derrik spent the last two summers as a rafting guide on the Arkansas River of Colorado, residing in a bunk house and living life as large as possible. On his time off, he rock climbed the area around Canon City including Shelf Road and the Wet Mountains. He loved solo adventures in the Collegiate Peaks nearby.
In high school at Kent Denver, Derrik played football, wrestled for a local public high school, Arapahoe High (Kent didn’t have a program), and excelled at lacrosse. His love of lacrosse as well as other special attributes led him to Colby College after high school.
Derrik was a dynamic individual who made friends easily, loved and knew music intimately, and was a great sportsman and outdoorsman. Derrik traveled to Africa three times, twice on hunting safaris to Zambia and Tanzania. Derrik’s first African trip included summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro over his 14th birthday and enjoying the wildlife of the Ngorogoro Crater and Serengeti Plains. On his first safari at age sixteen, Derrik bagged fourteen animals with sixteen bullets including a trophy leopard and eland. His second safari he took his first cape buffalo and a great sable bull.
He loved to bike and at the age of eleven made his first bike trip in Europe. In 2008 he rode from Frankfurt Germany across the Alps with his family finishing with a ride through Tuscany.
He loved to snowboard and called Winter Park Colorado his home ski hill. He experienced East Coast skiing with his friends while attending Colby. Over Christmas break of 2010 he challenged himself with the extreme skiing of Silverton Mountain in the San Juan Mountain Range of Southwest Colorado and had a great time.
As much as Derrik enjoyed road biking, his love of mountain biking was even greater. He made two spring break trips to Moab, Utah including stops in Fruita, Colorado in the search for great biking experiences.
And there is more, much more. Trout fishing, deep sea fishing in Mexico, stripper fishing in the Kennebec estuary during a hurricane, and climbing Mount Washington in a hurricane (actually two separate storms!). Derrik experienced more in his 20 years than most people will dream of, much less do, in a lifetime. The fact that Derrik pursued all these adventures after being born with a significant birth defect, bi-lateral club feet, which were surgically corrected at the age of one, is even more remarkable.
But Derrik’s experiences and accomplishments do not define Derrik. Derrik has left a legacy of friendships, compassion, caring, taking time for others, and enjoying the moment even at the expense of future outcomes. His friends are many and spread near and far. Be they trackers in Africa, lax teammates, fellow music lovers, Mutants, class mates, Derrik always made friends wherever he went.
Derrik is and will be missed by many. No one will miss him any more than his father, with whom Derrik enjoyed many of his adventures and who has learned so much from his son. May his spirit soar amongst the wilds of Patagonia.