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!
2 thoughts on “Doie Barnes….In Memoriam”
Hi Frank and Susie!
What a joy to read this posting about a grand lady of the Greatest Generation. It is so critically important to continue recognizing those who served during WW2. There are so few of these heroes left and it is a tragedy that so many have been forgotten and are alone. I am very glad indeed to learn that Sgt Barnes is your neighbor and is surrounded by her family and friends.
As a Navy Officer, I had the privilege of serving for a time with the Marines and I can tell you that there are no finer warriors…anywhere. That Sgt Barnes served our country as a Marine during those most difficult times so long ago is a testament to her determination to play an active role in helping steer America’s course when doing so as a woman was anything but ordinary and easy. I am so glad she was recognized for this in such a splendid way. Might I ask that when you next see Sgt Barnes, please send her my heartiest congratulations, many thanks for her service, and a big “Bravo Zulu” from this Navy Commander.
May I also ask your readers (especially those in or who have been in uniform) who may know of or have contact with a WW2 veteran, to spend some time with them, listen to the remarkable tales they have to tell, and make certain they know that, during their waning years, they are not alone.
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Thanks Andy… I will indeed pass along your Bravo Zulu to her! We were at a 100th Birthday party for Doie last night at the local American Legion Post, and it was great to see the big smile on her face as so many folks sang Happy Birthday to her! The camaraderie that these retired service members of the post show towards each other, no mater what service they were in, is so wonderful. I am envious that you had that during your years in the Navy and that you could go in any American Legion Post and feel that again. It is truly an incredible thing that will always be a part of your life! Take car my friend….Frank