A native of Tennessee, Jim Derryberry grew up in Lake Worth, Florida, where he acquired his love of gardening and landscaping. Living across the Intracoastal Waterway from Palm Beach, Derryberry was intrigued with its early-twentieth-century Mediterranean architecture and decided to be an architect. He studied architecture at the University of Oklahoma (where the school was headed by a disciple of Frank Lloyd Wright) but received his BA degree in Urban Studies. While in Oklahoma Derryberry met and married his college sweetheart, Allegra from Tulsa.
After receiving a Master of City Planning degree from UC Berkeley, Jim and Allegra moved to Santa Fe in 1966. Derryberry was assistant city planner for three years, and then moved to San Jose, CA, in the San Francisco Bay area. His career paralleled the development of Silicon Valley as San Jose’s population grew from 450,000 to over 900,000. Derryberry retired in 2001 from San Jose as Director of Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement.
Since his career in public service, Derryberry has pursued many interests, including gardening, playing with his English Cocker Spaniel, European travel, reading up on the history and archaeology of the Southwest, taking classes at Renesan Institute of Lifelong Learning, and volunteering. He has served on various boards, including the Los Gatos, CA, Chamber of Commerce, the Vestry of St. Luke’s and St. Bede’s Episcopal churches, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, and the Los Miradores Homeowners Association.
Jim and Allegra moved back to Santa Fe in 2004, and they enjoy the many musical and artistic activities Santa Fe offers, especially The Symphony, Desert Chorale, museums, and art galleries. They have a son who lives in San Francisco, and a daughter and family with two grandchildren, ages seven and nine, living in the Boston area.