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Derek Sway

October 04, 1985 - October 24, 2020

A private funeral will be held. The service will be livestreamed on this page starting at 1:45 PM on Friday, October 30.


Boulger Funeral Home

Derek Sway

October 04, 1985 - October 24, 2020


The livestream will start at 1:45 PM.

Beloved friend, son, husband, and cherished dad, Derek Dexter Sway, 35, of Moorhead, Minnesota, passed away on Saturday, October 24, 2020, at Sanford Medical Center in Fargo, North Dakota due to complications from pneumonia and a lung infection.

Derek was born to David and Kathy Sway of Moorhead, Minnesota on October 4, 1985. His mile-wide smile and heart of gold blessed those around him from a young age. When his younger brother Koby came along, the two of them were best buddies from the start. During his childhood, Derek’s Grandpa Roger taught him to fish, a hobby he continued enjoying throughout his life. He looked forward to weekend getaways at Devil’s Lake, North Dakota, and loved showing his daughter’s Tessa and Cora how to hook a worm, and looked forward to teaching his son Noah the craft. At Moorhead High School (Class of 2004), Derek was an avid hockey player and golfer, with a backswing that made him look like a pro. Most recently, he was able to get in a few rounds during a Montana family vacation. A sports fan in general, he enjoyed cheering on the Minnesota Wild Hockey, Minnesota Gopher Hockey, NDSU Bison Football, and the Minnesota Vikings.

During high school, Derek started working at Hornbacher’s as a bag boy and soon began climbing the ranks, reaching a manager position in several departments throughout his 17 years of employment. His work family was like a second family, and he always looked forward to volunteering on the annual United Way fundraising team.

Derek met Kay Mitchell in 2012 at a nutrition shake store. Once he saw her, he knew he would marry her. Soon he began visiting her store more and more frequently until he worked up the courage to ask her on a date. From that moment on, he was devoted to her in every way and cherished their relationship dearly, including stepping into the role of father to Kay’s 5-year-old niece, Tessa. Derek and Kay married in Moorhead on February 20, 2016, in a beautiful, sparkly, and snowy ceremony. That day, nothing could remove his enormous smile spread across his face as he knew he married the love of his life.

In 2015, Derek and Kay moved their family to Halstad, Minnesota, where they purchased their first house and with a lot of elbow grease, made it into a home. A couple of years later, they welcomed their daughter, Cora Anastasia in November 2017. They cherished their time in Halstad but decided to return to Moorhead in 2019, and in January 2020, they welcomed their son Noah Allen. Derek’s calling in life was being a father. He adored his three children and worked tirelessly to provide a good home for them and create memories together. He was the kind of dad who got down on the ground to play, wrestle, read books, and snuggle. With Derek, there was always an emphasis on family. As he grew into an adult, Derek stayed close with Dave and Kathy, visiting their home often during the week and always placed importance on coming together as a family for holidays and special celebrations. Derek was happiest when with his family.

Mid-October, Derek fell ill and sought treatment at Sanford. His symptoms aligned with COVID-19 so he was administered a test and quarantined until he received the negative results. On Sunday, October 18, Derek was admitted to the Sanford ICU, where they discovered the severity of his condition. That evening, when he coded the medical team recovered a pulse and spent the week helping his body heal. Unfortunately, a brain scan revealed our worst nightmare. On October 24, surrounded by his loving wife and immediate family, Derek was removed from life support and his beautiful soul left this world to be with God.

Derek is survived by his wife Kay and children Tessa, Cora, and Noah, parents David and Kathy Sway (Moorhead), brother Koby and sister-in-law Amanda (Omaha, Nebraska), several aunts, uncles, and cousins, and a niece and two nephews to whom he was a wonderful uncle. Derek is preceded in death by grandparents Roger and Pauline Geck (Moorhead) and Selmer and Lillian Sway (Moorhead).

The family is holding a private visitation and funeral service at Boulger Funeral Home on Friday, October 30, at 2:00 PM. The funeral will be livestreamed on Boulger’s website at 2:00 PM on Friday, October 30.

Memorial funds have been established at a GoFundMe webpage, which can be found by searching Support for Derek Sway’s Medical & Family Expenses. The family is grateful for the outpouring of love and support they are receiving during this difficult time.


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33 responses to “Derek Sway”

  1. Larry and Marlene Bergseth says:

    Kay and family, Dave and Kathy and family. So sorry for your loss. Please know that thoughts and prayers are with you all at this time.

  2. Rob Beer says:

    Met Derek years ago and he was always very happy to talk. Always had a smile on his face, proud to start a family. So sorry for your loss.

  3. Brianna and gene Schneeberger says:

    Kay and family, Gene and I are so very sorry for your loss. Please know that thoughts and prayers are with you all at this time. Derek was such a good friend and will will be deeply missed by us and many. Hugs to you all.

  4. Jara Enger says:

    Derek was a pleasure to know and work with at Hornbacher’s, such a kind young man who grew into a positive, kind young adult. I am so sorry for your loss and my prayers are with you all.

  5. Norma Holien says:

    Kay and family, I am so sorry for the loss of Derek, a co-worker, and friend. I will never forget his wonderful smile and how his eyes would light up, he was a great guy and had a heart of gold, I will miss him, my prayers to all of you at this sorrowful time.

  6. Lacy VanderVoort says:

    Hello. Derek you will be missed!! I used to work to work with him at Hornbachers and he was a joy to work with 🙂

  7. Lacy VanderVoort says:

    Sorry I started a new job, can you send me a video through my email plz. I would love to see it. Forgot to add for the first one. He always talked bout his family and fishing. I hope I can see it lacy_vandervoort@yahoo.com. I won’t see It after, would love to see it.

  8. Lori whisman says:

    I worked with Derek and I will remember him for his smile and his love for his family.He was so proud of each one of them.Ill miss seeing him when I’d stop in fthere.RIP

  9. Hailee Joyner says:

    Kay and Family, I’m so sorry to hear this! All my thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time!!! He always had a smile on his face!! He will be dearly missed!

  10. Angie & Jasen & boys says:

    We are so sorry for your loss. We wish we could be there in person to support you, but please know we are praying and are here for you in any way we can.

  11. Mike Sunderland says:

    Always enjoyed his friendly smile! He will be missed many! Prayers to his family and friends during this difficult time!

  12. Stacy Boe says:

    Words cannot describe how heartbroken I am for your family. Derek was always such a friendly and always positive guy to be around at Hornbacher’s. It is evident just how much love and joy he had when it came to his friends and of course his beautiful family. I will continue to hold your family in my prayers as you navigate through such a terrible loss.

  13. Ashley Grotte says:

    I didn’t know Derek well but when I did meet him I could tell that he was on love with my cousin and her family. God bless them and much love.

  14. SARAH SHELDON says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Thinking of your family during this tragic time. Love you Kay and kids and if you need anything please let me know.

  15. Mike and Kris Mikkelsen says:

    we often visited with Derek at the Northport Hornbachers when we were shopping. Sometimes my daughter would roll her eyes and walk away because the conversation just flowed for a long time! What a great guy! We are so sorry for your loss and wish you peace at this difficult time.

  16. Valerie Johnson says:

    Kay and family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you in this very difficult time. I will never forget how wonderful Derek was and how easily he accepted Tessa as his own when you all became a family. His face would light up when I asked him how his family was, and oh when the babies came along…. wow! I’ve never met a prouder man. Know that he is your (and their) guardian angel now and forever. Katie and I wish we could be there for you. All our love….

  17. Bonnie Stafford says:

    I had Derek (and Koby) as students at Moorhead High School. I remember Derek being so friendly, bashful, and hard working. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  18. Dr. Mark Duranczyk says:

    My condolences to the family. My chats with Derek have always been fun and positive. What a great guy he was and was always very kind. I could tell—without even asking—that his family meant the world to him. He will be dearly missed.

  19. Karen Hanson says:

    I will miss you Derek

  20. Florence Verworn says:

    Florence Verworn Kay & Famliy,Dave & Kathy deepest Sympathy on your loss. It was a pleasure to know Derek. He was always upbeat,friendly.& happy. Many times during lunch break at Hornbackers he would call Kay to check on his Family. He was so proud of all of you. May you find peace & comfort knowing he is still checking on you

  21. Essig and Quaschnick's says:

    Dave, Kathy, and all Derek’s family,
    We send you our prayers and condolences.
    Much love and hugs,
    Bill and Clara Essig
    Mike and LuAnn Quaschnick

  22. Jasen Grotte says:

    We are so sorry for you loss. Derek was a good man. He will be missed. We love you guys. We are here for you anytime.

  23. Bob Wheeler says:

    Difficult to think of Derek being gone. I fondly remember him, Koby, my son and a bunch of other knuckleheads playing cards in high school around our pool table in the basement. He always had a smile on his face. The world is a lesser place without Derek. Rest in peace. Thoughts and prayers to Derek’s family and friends.

  24. Stephanie Lindemann says:

    Kay and family. I did not know Derek well, but I had a good idea of who he was through Kay and her stories. I am so very sorry for your loss. I know he will always be with you. Praying for love and peace.

  25. Cory Hass and Valerie Harthun says:

    I’m at a loss for words really from the passing of my cousin Derek Sway who was so young. He was always so nice and very cheerful whenever we got together, it truly is a terrible tragedy. It’s been an awful year so far and this just adds to it. This is a terrible loss for our whole family. We will keep his memories in our hearts always. May he rest in peace.

  26. Nic and Brittany Nundahl says:

    We miss you Derek.

  27. Brandy Johnson says:

    Praying for you and your family. So sorry for your loss.

  28. Robert Scheer says:

    I will miss you Derek

  29. Phil and Linda Schmaltz says:

    Kathy and family. We are so sorry to hear this news about your son. We will keep all of you in our thoughts and prayers.

  30. Gale L Graphenteen says:

    I am soooo sorry for your loss. I know what it is to loose a child. My heart breaks for you all and all the prayers we do will not make the pain stop for a long time if ever…Just trust in God and he will help you make it through.
    If you need anything let me know

  31. Vincent says:

    I didn’t know Derek very well, but the time I have spent with him, Kay and his kids has been joyful and he was clearly a devoted, loving father and husband. He will be missed.

  32. Linda and Richard Muir says:

    Kathy, we were so sorry to hear of the lose of your son Derek. My brother Daryl, who we went on the road trip with you and Sarah, worked with him at Northport Hornbachers. He said that he always enjoyed talking with Derek, he was such a nice young man. I saw his name in The Forum, when I saw that Derek was David and your son I had to reach out to you. Richard and I lost our son in 1985, 12 years old. It is so hard to loose a child, please know that Derek will always be with you. After all these years some times it feels I’m living it all over again. We enjoyed working with you and Sarah at Bethany! We will keep you and your family in our thoughts and prayers! Rest in peace Derek!

  33. Lacy VanderVoort says:

    What cementry plz

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