Keena Derrick
Keena Derrick
Keena Derrick
Keena Derrick

Obituary of Keena Maria Derrick

Keena Maria (Fixsen) Derrick, 51, peacefully passed away on March 9, 2024, at her sister Kari's home, surrounded by her devoted family and friends, with her hand lovingly held just as she wished.

She was born on September 29, 1972, to the late Mary and Jerry Fixsen in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As the third daughter in the household, Keena brought much joy and laughter to the family. She also brought a healthy dose of spunk, which she carried with her throughout her life.

After graduating from Rockford High School in 1991, Keena continued her education at the University of Minnesota, earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1997. Keena embarked on an eclectic career path, a true reflection of her personality. After working throughout college for her father at his auto body shop, she jumped into the creative world of advertising as an art buyer, transitioned into a supportive role within a finance department, and later found fulfillment in human resources. She also found time to sell some of her artwork and hand-painted cards on Etsy.

Keena is survived by her daughter, Liv Derrick (18), and her ex-husband, Mike Derrick. Also mourning her loss are her sister and brother-in-law, Kari and Bob Molhoek of Edina, and their sons, William, Henry, Daniel, and Andrew; her sister Kirsten Cameron of Montana, and Kirsten’s children, John, Elizabeth, and George. She is also survived by many cherished aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends, who all loved her dearly. She is preceded in death by her mother and father, Mary and Jerry Fixsen.

Throughout her life, Keena was known for her fierce independence and love of adventure, especially adventures that took place in nature or along the open road—there weren’t many things she said “No” to! Widely acknowledged was Keena's unparalleled skill as the most sought-after co-pilot/shotgun rider on any road trip. Her intuitive knack for anticipating every need or directional whim often left others in awe, as she seemed to fulfill them before they were even voiced.

She spent her life surrounded by pets. In the early years, she could be found dressing up kittens in doll clothes or throwing on her cowboy boots to ride her pony around the property, always with a sister nearby. In her later years, she stuck with mostly dogs (Bolo, Louie, and Moose) and cats (Lenny, Squiggy, Oliver, and Cookie), and there may have even been a bunny or two (Pepin and Lily). She and Moose were steadfast walking companions on her good days these last few years and were often seen walking in Pamela Park or around the lakes.

Keena had a passion for art, and creating was something she did all of her life—paintings and wire sculptures abound. The walls of her home are covered in her paintings and artwork. You may have been lucky enough to receive a hand-painted card from her. Keena was even known to create a little good-natured trouble from time to time, and she will be remembered for her playful silliness. She always loved a good joke or silly prank—just ask her nephews.

Liv, her beloved daughter, was the epitome of Keena’s love. Liv wasn't just her daughter; she was her greatest joy, her reason for fighting, and her enduring legacy. Through the tumultuous journey of battling stage 4 colon cancer, Keena found strength and resilience in the hope of spending more precious moments with Liv. They shared an unbreakable bond, often spending late nights together, discussing anything and everything as confidantes and friends, each, of course, with a cat on their lap. Liv's presence brought light and purpose to Keena's life, and her greatest wish was to equip Liv with the independence, love, and support of friends and family to navigate life's journey with grace and strength. Liv carries forward her mother's unwavering love and legacy, which will forever be cherished by those who had the privilege of knowing and loving Keena.

A celebration of Keena's life will be held on Friday, April 19, at Cremation Society of Minnesota, 7110 France Avenue South, Edina, MN. Visitation will be held from 2:00pm to 3:00pm, followed by the service at 3:00pm, with a small reception afterward.

In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that donations be made toward a memorial bench to be placed in Pamela Park, where Keena, Moose, and special friends enjoyed many cherished walks together.

To donate, you can use Venmo by sending your contribution to @Kari-Molhoek. Alternatively, you also can contribute with cash or  check. Your generosity is deeply appreciated.

We would like to extend a thank you to all the doctors and nurses who have helped throughout this journey and a special thanks to the Health Partners hospice team who provided such wonderful care and in-home support again for our family. 

Keena will be deeply missed by all who had the privilege of knowing her. Her memory will live on in our hearts forever.

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