My family did not know Derek but my son, Ethan (7yrs old), was very drawn to his recent performance as Pinocchio. I do wish we had gotten a picture the day we attended the musical. During quiet times, when Ethan is drawing or playing some make believe game, I hear him singing. Always the same song "Story of My Life" the Pinocchio parts. I just wanted to say that it takes a true talent and amazing spirit to reach a random unknown kid in the audience. Derek did that for my son - even though we never met him, his spark lit a torch and touched my son's life.
When looking back through Derek's Twitter account to prepare his obituary and a column for the March 7 Joplin Globe, I came across these last two tweets of his that seem to summarize perfectly the kind of person Derek was. I will always be grateful to have gotten to see him perform, and grateful that he was such a good role model for the underclassmen who got to perform with him.
— Andra Stefanoni, PHS Drama Mama
I played softball with his sister, Taylor. We were on the same team one year. And, while I was up to bat, Derek stood up and yelled "GO CREAM SOAD!" from then on he called me that. It was the most random, hilarious action I'd ever experienced while batting! Thanks, Derek, for always being able to say the most hilarious things over the years. Miss you, "Smerek.
Welcome. This is a blog page we never thought we'd have to create, but now we realize we need to. On Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016, Pittsburg High School Senior Derek Brumbaugh was killed in a car wreck on his way home from seeing the musical "Newsies" in Kansas City with PHS Junior Aspen Lloyd. Both were active in our theatre program and had just wrapped production of our all-school musical, "Shrek," the Sunday before. Aspen, thankfully, survived with injuries that someday will heal.
To help in the healing process over the loss of Derek, and to provide a central location for remembrances, we invite anyone who knew Derek or were touched by him in some way to share memories of your time together, photos or video clips from daily life or performances, or something funny or cool or important you remember him saying. Email them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will then post them here.
We borrowed the title for our blog, by the way, from "Shrek," in which Derek, as the Fairytale Kingdom's beloved Pinocchio, leads them all in singing "Story of My Life."
In the beginning, please be patient with us as there is one student and one parent volunteer working to maintain this site and we likely will be flooded. It may take a day or so for what you send to appear.
It's our hope that, when they are ready, Derek's family and Aspen and her family, as well as Derek's many friends, can look through this to find comfort in knowing how many lives he touched.
This page, "Story of My Life: A Tribute to Derek Brumbaugh," will be authored by the many people whose lives were touched in some way big or small by Derek Brumbaugh. It will be maintained by a student and a parent volunteer. Memories, photos, and video clips may be emailed to email@example.com for posting here.