FINDING A PLACE TO CALL HOME
Derrick Wash could have made his home anywhere following college graduation. But he chose to move to Beloit where he’s happy to be home again.
“There’s so much diversity in Beloit,” he says. “It’s not a small community, but it certainly doesn’t have a big city feel. Everything I need is within driving distance, and it’s a good place to raise kids. For the most part, you know everyone when you live in Beloit.”
Wash is a Microsoft Systems administrator for ABC Supply Company in Beloit. A native of Roscoe, Ill., where his parents still live, Wash attended Rockton Hononegah High School and played football, wrestled and ran track. After graduation, he moved on to Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, where he studied management information systems.
Wash accepted a position as an IT technician with the City of Beloit, before making a move to ABC Supply, where he’s worked for the past 14 years. Wash is responsible for any IT infrastructure issues. “I enjoy working at ABC because of the family-type atmosphere,” he says. “The company has been very good to me.”
Most of Wash’s free time is spent with his three children – Destiny, 14, Derrick Jr., 12 and Nevaeh, 7. The children are involved in a number of activities including sports and dance and taking family vacations to Disney World. “We’re always doing things as a family,” Wash says. “We have a close bond.”
It was through his kids that Wash met his fiancée, Alicia Gramling, through the PTO at their school. Gramling is a second grade teacher at Hackett Elementary School in Beloit. “We started talking and hit it off,” Wash says. The couple is planning a June 2015 wedding.
“I found Beloit as a place to settle in after attending Beloit College,” says Gramling, a Minnesota native. “I knew that when I attended Beloit, the community had a lot to offer for me as a teacher who wanted to live and raise a family close to work. I am happy to say that Beloit brought me all of those things and much more. I love seeing families enjoy all the activities Beloit has to offer, and Derrick and I are lucky to call Beloit our home. Our children have flourished having a diversity of friends and opportunities to be involved in the community.”
As a family, Wash, Gramling and the children stay plenty busy. They frequent the riverfront, parades, festivals, as well as educational and theatrical presentations at Beloit College. “There is so much to see and do in Beloit,” Wash says. “There is a lot of culture in our city; I want my children to be open to the different possibilities.”
While Wash appreciates the culture, social and recreational opportunities in Beloit, it’s the try-hard attitude of its people that he’s most proud of. “There are opportunities for everyone who is willing to work hard and put in the effort,” he says. “It’s that type of attitude that’s going to make this an ideal city to live and work in.”
While no one can predict the future, Wash and Gramling can see being comfortable in Beloit for a long time. “We bought a home that we can retire in, with plenty of room for the kids to come back and visit,” he says. “We’re going to be in Beloit for the foreseeable future.”Back To The Beloit Experience