Celebrating Derrill Bodley's Life

"Many people have told me that it was a good thing for me to have music to help me get through what happened September 11th and afterwards. I would have to agree with them. When I was younger, I had grand notions about how one (such as myself) could do great things in the world through music. But Peter Townshend, guitarist with The Who, put it best when he said "Music can't change the world. Music changes the way one lives in the world." I hope that, by sharing music, I have helped some of those who have heard it to change, in some positive way, how they live in the world."

Derrill Bodley


A Memorial Service for Derrill was held on Friday, September 30, at 1:30 p.m. in Morris Chapel at University of the Pacific.

Steps to Peace
Dedicated to the Sharing of Peace
Derrill Bodley
September 11, 2001
Derrill Bodley, Piano Rob Knable, Saxophone
Our heartfelt sympathy to Nancy and the family. We knew Derrill as a talented musician and a man of peace and understanding. We are deeply saddened by this loss.

Philip and Carole Gilbertson
University of the Pacific

I'm shocked and saddened. I served with him for some years on the Friends of Chamber Music board.

Vince Perrin

I believe that Derrill did help people who heard his music and listened to him in his passionate quest to bring about Deora's wish for peace. He was a wonderful father, an exceptional musician and a dear friend.

Sue Eskridge

It saddens me to have the world lose another wonderful human being. Derrill's gift of his music will live on forever. For that, Derrill, we thank you. Alas, another voice of genius silenced too soon.

Mark Ziemann

We are deeply saddened by the tragic news of the sudden loss of Derrill, and we extend all our most heartfelt wishes and sympathy. Derrill meant so much to us in the Stockton Symphony—it was a great pleasure to have him play with us on many occasions over the years. I’ll never forget my very first season here a decade ago—we were playing a piece by Thea Musgrave that called for some very special effects on a synthesizer keyboard. Derrill kindly invited me over to his place and demonstrated all sorts of possibilities—he was an absolute genius of sound color and design. Over the many years since he has contributed his wonderful talents to our concerts on so many occasions, always so aware of the entire ensemble, and always possessing the ability to make his keyboards sound like anything—an organ, a harpsichord, an ondes martinot—you name it!

Derrill possessed rare musical gifts as a performer, composer, and teacher, and those were coupled with his sterling character and wonderful human spirit—all of which anyone reading this site knows in a deep way. We shall all miss him sorely.

My wife Jane joins me in sending our very best thoughts in this most difficult time.
Yours most sincerely,
Peter Jaffe
Music Director and Conductor, Stockton Symphony

I can't begin to share how saddened I am at the loss of a dear friend and colleague in Derrill. I met Derrill when we were enrolled in our Ed.D. courses at UOP, and from there we both enjoyed a short time as colleagues at Sacramento City College. Derrill stretched my ways of approaching teaching, and looking at new and progressive ways to utilize technology. I am forever grateful for the exchange of ideas as we both sought to find different ways to reach our students. It is my hope that my dear friend is at peace in the company of Deora.  Nancy and family, I am very sorry for your loss. God bless you all.

Dr. Vicki Purslow
Southern Oregon University
We are so very sad to have heard about this tragic loss. Professor Bodley was a very wonderful professor. He was a loving man. UOP has lost a fine teacher, talented musician and special man. To see how Professor Bodley responded to his daughter's tragic death is an example of what a wonderful treasure he was to those he touched.

God Bless Professor Bodley as he joins his beautiful daughter in Heaven.

Many Blessings,
Paul Everts - Class of 1988, UOP Conservatory of Music
Diana Everts - Class of 1991, UOP Conservatory of Music

Oh, Derrill! My heart is very sad. Thank you for your bright heart, your songs, your work for peace.

John Morearty

I am filled with great sadness with Dr. Bodley's passing, but also with joy knowing that he is now with his daughter. I send my deepest sympathy to his wife Nancy.  

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." Mahatma Gandhi

I believe that Dr. Bodley lived these words every day, and my deepest wish is that in some small way we all can continue his quest for "World Peace".

May God's Blessing be with his wife and all his family and friends.
Bernie Kramer
University of the Pacific

I'm so sad to hear you are gone. I will always remember your music classes at Sacramento City College. I know that you are happy to be with your daughter now.
Sacramento CA
It is with great sadness and shock to read about the loss of Derrill. I worked with Derrill at the University and came to know a very kind, peaceful and loving person. His death is a huge loss for us but not for Deora because now they're together...forever.

Kim (Stone) Cose

What a tragedy, but I truly believe he is at peace alongside his beloved daughter.

Elizabeth Santomier

I don't know how to express my sadness. My deepest sympathy to Derrill's family.

James Eskridge

I read about Derrill in the paper today. I am so sorry for his wife and family. He was a great guy to work with.

Kathleen C. Sadao, Ed.D.
Sacramento County Office of Education

Derrill was one truly remarkable human being. I felt blessed in each and every encounter we ever shared.  May his light continue shining on the world.

Tom Nelson
Benerd School of Education

We're so sorry, Nancy. We hope Derrill is at Peace with Deora. I called Heather this morning and she is heart broken. Patrick is in a state of shock.

The England's

It is with great saddness to receive word of Derrill's passing. My heartfelt sympathy to his wife and family.
Kitty Gilbert

University of the Pacific

Jan Klevan Ruby
Jessica & Aaron Neely


I am shocked as everyone else is to hear about Derrill. Yet I am so happy and relieved to be able to picture him sitting beside Deora, holding her hand and singing with her. I grew up with Deora in San Diego and Derrill took the two of us to the East Coast to look at colleges when we were 17. I can still remember him driving us around in a rental car, telling us to be quiet so he could figure out where he was going! My thoughts are with everyone who Derrill has touched in his peace sharing lifetime.

Deora, I am so happy that your father has someone to take care of him now and forever and you two can again unite and both watch over us to make sure we carry on your peaceful ways and words. I can't believe it has already been 4 years, it seems like last week that I was speaking to you at your service overlooking the ocean in La Jolla and then soon after meeting and laughing with your friends at Santa Clara. Love you always and keep a good eye on your dad, he's yours now.

Tara Stewart, San Diego

What sad news. I am so sorry.

Matt Castle

Helen (Mrs. Ed) Betz

We are all saddened upon hearing of Derrill Bodley's accident on his motorcycle and death Wednesday afternoon here in Stockton. Derrill was a faculty member in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and provided support for technology in our building and our computer lab, probably for close to a decade. He also was a joint appointment with the Conservatory of Music. Dean Fay Haisley hired him initially in the early 1990's to help with support and distribution of software for high school science, as well as to teach and provide technology support. Gradually, Derrill took on more teaching in technology and the math and science methods course for the Multiple Subject program. Concurrently, Derrill started and completed a Doctor of Education degree from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction with a major in Music Education. He was among the last group of music educators in this doctoral major with the Music Education department. He completed his dissertation in 2000 and took at full time position at Sacramento City College in their music department.

Derrill was a brilliant man with many talents: he was a concert pianist, presenting recitals frequently, particularly duo piano pieces with a colleague; a composer, composing music with the Summer Theatre Arts program with Sue Eskridige in 1991 and 1992, as well as many other types of music and for many audiences; a composer of music using digital equipment; a computer programmer and technician; a teacher of technology for us in BSE and for the Conservatory; and a teacher of math and science--a new area for Derrill and one for which he developed his expertise and knowledge base.

Derrill was a modest man, willing to help, not eager to attract a lot of attention to his work, and he was a kind and gentle man, helpful to students and staff. We know about the tragic loss of his daughter, Deora, on Flight 93 on September 11, 2001, and Derrill knew that his daughter communicated to him by giving him a musical composition that flowed into him and a message to "do the right thing." Derrill became intensively involved in Peace Movements, and he visited Afghanistan to meet families there who had lost loved ones. We have his wife, Nancy Mangum-Bodley, in our thoughts and prayers, as well as his siblings. Nancy was a University Librarian at Pacific for several years. I know that all of us will miss Derrill and I hope that we can help peace to flow in the hearts and minds of people throughout the world.

Marilyn Draheim
Chair, Department of Curriculum & Instruction
Benerd School of Education, University of the Pacific

What terrible news..I was talking about Derrill only yesterday to folk at Bond University. I was extolling his virtue as my 'techie nerd'. He was a talented and gifted contributor and he will be missed.

Fay Haisley

Burleigh Heads, Queensland, Australia

Dean, Benerd School of Education, 1984-1998


We will miss Derrill. He was a beautiful person, responding to his daughter's tragic death not with vengence but with a courageous willingness to work for peace. His music, speaking and actions inspired many. We will honor his life by continuing his efforts for peace. Much love to his grieving family and friends,

June Brashares

I'm so sorry to hear about Dr. Bodley's passing. He was such a nice guy and a great professor. My heart and prayers go out to his family.

Trish Floyd

What a tragedy for his family; what a terrible loss for our community! A gentle, intelligent, talented, and caring man. I liked him very much, enjoyed working with him for Friends of Chamber Music, and greatly respected his work for peace. We'll miss him.

Martha Tipton

From the moment I walked into his classroom, I knew the world was a "better place" for his presence. Watching his incredibly selfless reaction to the tragedy of his only child's death made me realize that, for some, the English language lacks adequate descriptors for ultimate goodness, for ultimate sorrow. "So sorry" . . . "So sorry?" it's not adequate.

Muriel Fish
UOP class of 1992


Derrill was a great teacher for me at the conservatory. He passed on the hallowed traditions of music entirely intact, but always with a dash of commentary. He used to clown around with the sacred music of Bach, imitate stuffy professors of the past, and break etiquette to make light of not only himself but also the subject in general. In Derrill's class, music was never something to be worshipped from afar, and tradition was never revered for its own sake. He brought music down from its exalted place at the conservatory and made all of its wonder available to us. He reminded us of the fact that music relates to the greater experience of life, and that lesson was iterated to us again and again through his attitude, his playing, and the way he lived his life, especially his visit to Afghanistan in the aftermath of 9/11. He was teaching us about more than just how to be musicians: he was teaching us about how to be human. I will miss him.

Scott Halligan
UOP Conservatory class of 2004

I just learned of the shocking sad news of Prof Bodley's passing. I had the opportunity to have numerous conversations w/professor Bodley and really appreciated his kindness and gentle spirit. A classmate and I both commented when we left class orientation at how nice and cool he was. I am truly sorry for the loss. I will miss not having the opportunity to see him again. I want to extend my sincerest condolences to his family and friends. With loving thoughts and prayers.

Annaraine Diaz

Dr. Bodley was a talented and wonderful teacher. He was a great mentor to me and I will forever be grateful not only for his amazing kindness in every situation, but for his trust in me and my abilities. I was honored to "help" him while I was a student at UOP. He will be greatly missed.

Meredith Hawkins, UOP Conservatory
Class of 2002

We are distressed by the loss of Derrill, for many years and in so many ways a much admired friend. He had a matchless mind and was a matchless humanitarian, always able to turn wrong toward right and lead others to do so with a unique blend of talent, grace and wit. Our hearts go out to his adored Nancy, his perfect partner in all he did.

Nelda and Reuben Smith


I am shocked and deeply saddened by this news.

Ray Posey
PLNU, San Diego

I knew Derrill just a few years as a colleague at UOP, but in that time I recognized a passionate human being as well as a musical genius. My son Evan was in his class on Popular Music at Sacramento City College earlier that fateful day. He was Evan's favorite professor.
Mathew Krejci


Milena and Paul Murdoch

What can I say about my cousin Derrill? We grew up in different parts of the country and never met until after the tragedy of Deora's death on September 11. He was the only other Bodley I know who was a musician besides myself. And he was the only man I've ever known to follow the courage of his convictions so passionately, turning his daughter's death, a monumental personal tragedy, into a passionate crusade for world peace. World Peace. Think about that. For most of us "world peace" is a nice idea, catch phrase, or even a lofty concept, befitting only dreamers or perhaps the naive. But for Derrill, WORLD PEACE was a crucial, actual, obtainable reality. It mattered little how it was expressed by him through lectures, his music,or speaking engagements and rallies all over the planet. What remained important to him was that it was possible, even desperately necessary to do everything in his power to see itrealized, not one day, but now, today, every day, and from now on, forever.

We'll miss you, Derrill. We'll miss your energy, enthusiasm, and just plain huge heart. And I'll personally miss never getting to play music with you again in this life. But I'm going to do my best to remember you
in the spirit of my time spent living in New Orleans, my second hometown, a town today in its own hour of need for compassion, humanity, and yes, peace. In New Orleans the jazz funeral tradition urges us to celebrate life. The second line parade is joyous festive music played after the funereal dirges have all been quieted. The life of the deceased is decried in the streets with shouts and dances of joy. The passing from
this mortal coil on to a better place is cause for celebration indeed. We celebrate the rare and beautiful privilege of being graced with Derrill's life. We celebrate you, Derrill....

-Ivan Bodley, New York City

Light a Candle for Derrill


Derrill Bodley excerpts from "September 11th Families for
Peaceful Tomorrows: Turning Our Grief Into Action for Peace."
From the Stockton Record (PDF)


Main Page

View Deora's Candles


"PEACE FOR DEORA" was recorded at Studio C, Stockton, California, courtesy of Dr. Thomas Chen



Updated September , 2005

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