Pictured above is Doris Barnes, Sargeant, United States Marine Corp.
NOTE….I originally wrote this blog in July of last year in honor of Dole’s 100th birthday, and I also shared it on Facebook last month, as this great lady turned 101.
During World War II, joining the Marine Corps was not something you’d expect a young woman to do. In fact, according to an article at Marine Corp. University, “American women in military uniform were rare at the beginning of World War II. On 30 July, 1942, the Marine Corps Women’s Reserve was established as part of the Marine Corps Reserve. The mission of the Marine Corps Women’s Reserve was to provide qualified women for duty at shore establishments of the Marine Corps, releasing men for combat duty.” Doris (or Doie as most call her) was one of those women.
According to that same article, “Women Marines were assigned to over 200 different jobs, including radio operator, photographer, parachute rigger, driver, aerial gunnery instructor, cook, baker, quartermaster, control tower operator, motion picture operator, auto mechanic, telegraph operator, cryptographer, laundry operator, post exchange (store) manager, stenographer and agriculturist.” Doie, a long time ago told Susie that her job during the war was dispatching planes. To our minds, she is truly a hero and a fascinating part of the history of the United States Marine Corp, and our country.
I’m writing this blog today, because our Ocean City neighbor Doie was born on July 30th, 1921. Today is Doie Barnes’ 100th Birthday! Yes, during World War II, Doie was a young lady in her early 20s, and knowing the person she is today, I can only imagine the adventures she had back then…..and the tales she could tell! 16 years ago, when we bought the house next door, she was a young 84 year old, and today she’s a young 100 year old! She’s a regular at the daily Flag Raising Ceremony on the Ocean City Boardwalk, and a cherished member of American Legion Post 524. If the weather is right, you can see her taking her daily stroll around our neighborhood. Although, her hearing isn’t what it once was, and her knees could be better, she is still fast with a quip, and hearing she and her son-in-law Doc Anderson go back and forth is a joy.
At this morning’s Flag Raising Ceremony she was honored for her service during WWII and for her 100th birthday. It was an honor for Susie and I to be part of the group cheering her on as she was recognized by the Marine Corps League, the City of Ocean City, and Cape May County, and her Pennlyn Place friends and family! It’s truly an honor to live next door to this American Hero, and Susie and I are very happy to be able to wish Doie a very Happy Birthday, and hope that she lives many more years in good health
Happy Birthday Doie!!!
Unfortunately, her 101 could not be celebrated in the same way her 100th was, because exactly one week before her July 30th birthday, Doie fell on the back porch of her house, and broke her hip. She was rushed to the hospital, where hip replacement surgery was performed. In the 5 weeks since the surgery, Doie’s recovery has been an up and down road, which saw her in the hospital for a week, then in rehab for a while, and ultimately back into the hospital when she developed complications. I’m sorry to have to write that Doie will never make the 105th birthday she told Susie a couple of years ago was her goal, as she died peacefully in her sleep early on Sunday Morning, in the Ocean City beach house that she loved, with her beloved Golden Retrievers at her side.
She was one of a kind, and Susie and I were so honored to know her these past 17 years we’ve had the Ocean City house. She was funny, and opinionated, but always with a twinkle in her eye! We enjoyed having her join the gang going out for dinner on a Saturday night, and loved seeing her take her daily walk around the block. We’ll miss seeing her zip up Pennlyn on her scooter on the way to the daily flag raising on the boardwalk, but her memory will always be with us!
Let me end this, by quoting our neighbor and good friend Doc Anderson, and what he said yesterday about his Mother In Law, Doie…
“Doie passed away yesterday morning at 101 years of age. She embodied all things US Marine Corps, led a good life, enjoyed camaraderie of the American Legion in Ocean City, and being the “belle of the ball”.
My last words with her were “Well done Marine” and she fist bumped me.
Services will not be traditional. In lieu of flowers, you may send a donation (of any amount at all) to:
Moray Miley Cruice Post 524 American Legion
4560 West Ave.
Ocean City, NJ 08226”
If you knew her as Sargeant Doris Barnes, or as our neighbor Doie, you must agree, she was truly one of the reasons her generation was called The Greatest Generation!