Leonard Joseph DeRyder, Jr. “Buddy” (86) sailed into the sunset on Monday, April 3, 2023. He was born in Hampton, VA and was a lifelong resident. He graduated from Hampton High School in 1954 and Virginia Tech with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering in 1961.
Buddy worked for NASA for 32 years as an Aerospace Engineer. He worked on many innovative projects such as the Apollo Moon Landing and the Viking Mission to Mars.
One of Buddy’s lifelong passions was sailing. He enjoyed racing competitively and leisure cruising. He won many sailboat races and cruised the Chesapeake Bay, as far as New York and around the Caribbean. He also had a great love for baseball. He was a left-handed pitcher for the Hampton High School Crabbers, Virginia Tech, and the Brunswick Pirates. He was known to pitch perfect games.
Buddy is survived by his loving and devoted wife Dariene Deen DeRyder, his daughters, Terri DeRyder Hall and Kathi DeRyder, his grandsons, Michael DeRyder, Derek Whiteside (Ashley), Benjamin Topping (Nicole) and Brian Hall (McKenzie), great granddaughter Caroline DeRyder, and great grandsons Easton Topping and Graham Topping. He is also survived by his brother, Joe DeRyder (Carolyn) and sister, Mary Whitehouse (Bobby).
Buddy is predeceased by his son, Jeff DeRyder, his father and mother, Leonard Joseph DeRyder, Sr. and Nannette Willoughby DeRyder, his sisters, Evelyn Becker, Barbara Spankowski and Geraldine Mingee.
Buddy lived by the motto that you can never cross the ocean unless you have courage to lose sight of the shore. He had a passion for learning new things and challenging himself to the fullest. He volunteered in numerous roles at the Hampton Yacht Club, where he was a member for 50 years and also volunteered for the Phoebus Fire Department. He was a licensed Captain, had his HAM radio license, loved woodworking and keeping up with the latest computer technology.
A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, April 15th from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hampton Yacht Club, 4707 Victoria Blvd, Hampton, VA 23669
Fair winds and following seas Captain Buddy. You were dearly loved and will be greatly missed.
Arrangements and heartfelt guidance through Claytor Rollins Funeral Home.
Online condolences to claytorrollins.com.
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