Derek Alan McAlister, 39

Published 7:01 am Saturday, June 17, 2017

Derek Alan McAlister, 39, of Austin, Minnesota, passed away at home Wednesday, June 14, 2017. Derek was born Feb. 12, 1978, in Austin, to Larry and Pam (Opsahl) McAlister. He grew up in Austin and graduated from Austin High School in 1997 before attending Riverland Community College and Winona State for one year. Derek worked as a cook and in the restaurant fast food industry as a manager. He enjoyed working with customers and would often talk about his elderly “regulars” who came in to see him. Derek had a dog named Bella that was his baby. He loved animals.


Derek had a love for theater and enjoyed singing. He performed in Matchbox Children’s plays, The Halloween Warm up at the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center, and was involved in Austinaires. Derek loved playing bingo, and his “bingo ladies,” as he called them, loved him! His kind, generous soul always brought a smile to their faces. Derek was an avid Green Bay Packers fan and loved watching football with his father. He loved watching and having discussion about any sport. Derek loved politics and was a passionate debater. He was not afraid to stand up for what he believed strongly in. Derek enjoyed going to concerts, especially country concerts. He adored Reba McEntire! Derek had a love for cooking and trying out new recipes, and took pleasure in cooking for neighbors, friends, and family. Derek had a strong faith, and attended church at Cornerstone Church in Austin. His faith and his family were two of the most important things to him. Derek will be remembered for his kind, compassionate and caring spirit. Life was difficult for him at times, but he loved his family, especially his Grandma and Grandpa McAlister.

Derek is survived by his parents, Larry and Pam (Opsahl) McAlister; his sister, Michelle Christgau and fiancé Brandon Downs; sister, Tami Ongoto and Ryan Loechler; grandmother, Jeannine McAlister; grandmother Bonnie Wiste; grandparent Elmer Opsahl (Tove); two nieces, Lexie McAlister and Melia Ongoto; four nephews, Christopher Ongoto, Alex Ongoto, Daniel and Brock Christgau; special sister, Melissa Hanson; brother-in-law, Nick Ongoto; special friend, Angie Bailey, and his faithful companion, Bella. Derek also had many special friends at the Twin Towers where he lived. He was preceded in death by his grandfather, Lawrence McAlister; and cousin, Keith Wood-Hulst.

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Memorial services will be held at 3 p.m. on Monday, June 19, 2017, at Cornerstone Church in Austin with Pastor David Simerson officiating. The McAlister family will greet friends from 1 to 3 p.m. on Monday at the church prior to the service.

Worlein Funeral Home of Austin is assisting the family with arrangements.  Condolences may be expressed to the family online