It is with heavy and hopeful hearts that we announce the passing of Derek Russell Claiborne (DC). Derek passed peacefully from his earthly home into the arms of his loving Savior on the 19th of November 2020. Derek was born May 16th 1986, the oldest son of James Russell Claiborne and Leslie Davis Denning. He is survived by his mother and father, sister Tiffani, brother Kyle and brother Taylor.

It was obvious from an early age Derek had a love of sports, and just really enjoyed anything played with a ball. He excelled as an athlete but most especially he loved soccer. Always playing with the bigger kids, never daunted by being out sized or being physically overmatched. He was blessed with a motor that would just keep going, and going, which combined with his skill typically made him one of the best players on the field. As an adult he loved playing softball, you could often hear him running out the door saying, “I got a game” and many times it wasn’t even for his team, he’d say, “they called and needed another player”. Especially later in life he shared a bond and loved those with whom he played.

Sports was an outlet and reflected a theme in Derek’s life of interacting with people. You could tell the moment you met Derek you were in the presence of someone who loved people; so quick with his smile and his infectious happy laugh. Anyone who knew Derek can today look at a picture of him and will likely catch themselves smiling back. His endearing and engaging way attracted people to him. It was a manifestation of a gift he had for loving his neighbor. Many of his life experiences magnified this gift particularly toward those who struggle, withholding his judgment and lending a hand even when he was struggling as well. His love of people, his testimony of Jesus Christ and the gift of repentance made him a safe place for those who otherwise might feel awkward around individuals with a less developed talent for love and acceptance.

What was remarkable about Derek’s journey here, is despite spending much of his adulthood in very difficult circumstances, he was always hopeful for and about the future. The motor from his childhood continued to run, he always had a plan, always motivated to get out and try, whether it was a new job, or a new skill, Derek was going to master it. This hope was evident in the way he lived his life and one of his most admirable qualities.

Derek deeply loved his family and was very proud of all of them. If there was a family function you could always count on him being in the middle of it. Most of the time he would bring friends and introduce them to the people he loved most because he was so proud of being part of the family. He loved spending time with his brother making and mixing music for which he had a talent and passion.

We count it a great blessing from God to have been entrusted with his care as a boy, to have been tutored by his gifts and talents, to have struggled with him through long and difficult challenges, to have been blessed by his love and acceptance, and mostly to love and be loved by him.

We look forward with hope and assurance to a joyful and happy reunion with our friend, cousin, nephew, uncle, grandson, brother and son. Until that time, we will hold in our memories the time spent with him and the gift it was to know and be known by Derek.

A viewing will be held Tuesday the 24th of November 2020 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Memorial Mountain View mortuary 3115 East 7800 south, Cottonwood Heights UT 84121.

Funeral services, family only, will be held at the same location on Wednesday the 25th of November 2020 from 12:00 to 1:00 pm.

Graveside open mic 1:30 pm following the funeral services. Memorial Mountain View mortuary 3115 East 7800 south, Cottonwood Heights UT 84121.

Services will be live streamed via Zoom using this link:

Instructions to join are as follows:

1. Joining by computer

a. Go to in any internet browser

b. Click “join meeting”

c. Enter the meeting id - 8012981564

d. A box will open saying “ wants to open this application”. Click “open zoom”

e. Click “Join with Computer Audio”

f. Click “Mute” in the bottom left hand corner so that your audio does not interrupt the funeral services

2. Joining by phone or iPad

a. Download the Zoom app

b. Open the app and select “join a meeting”

c. Enter the meeting id - 8012981564

d. Select “join without video”

e. Select “Call using internet audio”

f. Select “mute” in the bottom left hand corner so that your audio does not interrupt the funeral services.


Services Handled By

Memorial Mountain View Mortuary & Cemetery
3115 East 7800 South
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Life Story Info

Post Date

Nov 22, 2020

Personal Info


Concerned about this Life Story? Please let us know.
NEXT Elwyn Langley Bergstrom Elwyn Langley Bergstrom


Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time. Derek you are one of those Earth Angels that made a difference in my life and all those around you. You were a true artist, athlete, and friend. I will forever remember your smile, what a truly wonderful light you gave to the world. Heaven is brighter because of you and I know that we will see each other again. Thank you for being so nice to me, you gave me hope and I will honor it. Thank you for coming to Earth and facing these battles, I know you will continue to change lives. I ask God to surround the Claiborne family with peace that passes all understanding. Thank you, Sara Jennay Hill

Sara Hill , Gilbert, AZ, US Nov 23, 2020

Oh, Derek this hurts my heart. I met Derek in high school and immediately clicked with him and his infectious smile that was so large it made everyone around him smile along with his laugh. I remember his love for soccer. I took him to a Real soccer game and he was ecstatic. I am so sad for Derek's sweet Mother and family. I know the struggles that Derek faced and I pray he is out of that pain and flying with those angels. Rest in peace, D.

Amy Petersen , Centerville , UT, US Nov 23, 2020