Dorothy Marie Derry


DOROTHY MARIE DERRY b.16 December 1900 in LaSslle, Illinois. She was a daughter of James F. & Alice Mae Rexroat Derry. Dorothy married ROBERT EDWARD BAKER. He was born 5 September 1895 in Chalmers, Indiana.

 Date: Sun, 01 Apr 2007 02:24:48 +0000
Subject: Dorothy Marie Derry

Doc,  I will find a few pictures to scan and I will send them later. My Grandma Baker was a saint to me, and an angel to her husband. The world was better when she was in it.

February 28, 2007:

Hey cousin Doc, 

This is your family connection in Utah..
Now, I am going to give some times and dates that you may not already have. According to my family records, I have:
Dorothy Marie Derry was born in LaSslle Illinois on December 16, 1900. She married Robert Edward Baker on May 3, 1922-3.
She and Robert had six children.
1-Esther Marie Baker Jerkins’, March 18, 1924 in Ottawa, LaSalle, Illinois

2-Roberta Ellen Baker Monke, September 5, 1925 in Kankakee,, Illinois
Died in Kennewick, Washington in April 2004

3-James William Baker, April 28, 1928 (My Father) in Ottawa, LaSalle,
Died May 16, 2000 in St George, Utah

4-Robert E Lee Baker, July 28, 1936 in Ransom,, Illinois (living)

5-Richard Clark Baker, August 25, 1937 in Denver, Denver, Colorado (living)

6-Donald M Baker, August 25, 1940 in Denver, Denver Colorado.

Dorothy Marie Derry is buried in Willamette National Cemetery, Portland, Oregon, together with her husband, Robert Edward Baker. According to son Robert E. Lee, she died Jan. 23, 1981. After her funeral, her husband buried his head in his hands and wept, “I can’t believe she’s really gone.” This account given by son James, who with his brother Robert, and sister’s Roberta and Esther attended the funeral.

Robert and Dorrothy were married at the Congregational parsonage in Ottawa, IL on Thursday, May 3, 1922 or 23.The Rev. Wm M. Whitsett officiated.  The witnesses were Mrs. Fred Derry and Miss Geraline Whitsett.
(These notes are from Esther)

Buried in Willamette National Cemetery, Robert, served in World War 1, fought in battles of Argonne Forest and Belleau Wood in France.  He was a Member of the Fighting 69th.He is buried with wif  Dorothy Derry Baker.

Married at the Congregational parsonage in Ottawa, IL Thursday, May 3, 1922 or 23. The young couple went to Chicago on a short honeymoon. They will visit Mason City to investigate the possibilities of locating there. (From newpaper clipping)

His war record was validated by the U.S. Army Support Activity, Philadelphia, PA 19101-3460, Dec 8 1999 (After 2 years of effort on Esther's part) He was awarded the Purple Heart, WWI Victory Medal w/battle clasp, for St. Mihile, Meuse, Argonne, and Defensive Sector WWI Victory Button (silver) (These notes are taken from Esther's records)

As a boy, I recall sneaking into my grandparent’s room in Logan Utah and finding a neat metal in a box on his dresser. I didn’t know what it was at the time, but I remembered well enough to know it was his Purple Heart. The war had a profound effect on Roberts’s life, one that set the course and tone for both he and Dorothy. I tried to get him to tell me stories about the war when I was young. He would always tell me no, I think it was too painful. He had a picture of the medical ship he was on when he was wounded, hanging on the wall by his gun room, where he had a wide array of weaponry. He was exposed to Mustard gas when he and other members of his platoon consumed some contaminated food. He became very ill and lost his hair. It is believed that that was the reason he had no hair on his head later in life,
for his hair never regained its previous vigor. Some time later, when I was in my early twenties, he and I had a revealing talk. He told me some of the things that influenced his life, why he had become so religious. I quote, to the best of my recollection. “Your life changes when you know you have killed a man. When you have to cross a field and your feet never touch the ground because of the dead bodies you have to walk on.” He shared this with me with tears in his eyes, I could see the pain was still fresh in his mind. I have no idea, and could never fully appreciate the things that he went
through, but I can say without any hesitation, his WWI experience had a profound negative influence on his family relationships throughout his life.

According to my father, Robert and Dorothy, spent there early years together in the region around LaSalle County Illinois. Roberts’s occupation was that of a share cropper. My father, James, said, that when he was one or so they
moved to Salem Missouri and Robert opened a battery shop. James said that they enjoyed six or seven years of stability in Salem and he was very happy.  ( They traveled around the country during the depression, going back to
Illinois and then on to Denver where my father grew up. When my father went into the service Robert moved the family to Utah, where I came on the scene.)

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