Derryberry Family Newsletter Online # 28, September 14, 2001


It is with great trepidation that I bring into the family newsletter about the greatest tragedy of our life, possibly in several centuries of history, the death of several thousand people in one day, and it was watched on TV by millions worldwide. As if we do not have enough violence on TV, the American public got a dose that will change all of our lives. There have been tragedies throughout history, but never so completely visible as this one.

For those unborn grandchildren and great grandchildren it behooves me to ask for family involvements in incidences surrounding this tragedy. So that our descendants can understand our feelings and anguishes of this incidence, would you care to share your stories of family members’ involvements?

Our son-in-law officed in the World Trade Center in New York at the time of the 1993 terrorist attack, but, lucky him, he was out of the office that day. They had since moved over to the World Financial Center, across the street. Lucky him, he was Uptown on Sep. 11 when the big attack came. The World Trade Center fell on the Financial Center, but he was not there. How many times can he be so lucky?

Our daughter, his wife, phoned him to tell him that an airplane had hit the World Trade Center. He did not believe her, but soon knew it was true. There was chaos. The trains were not running. The bridges and tunnels into and out of Manhattan were closed. He appeared stuck in Manhattan. He walked out west to the Weehawken Ferry, took the ferry across, got a bus that went way around to get to the Hoboken Ferry, where he could pick up his commuter trail back to his home in New Jersey.

Another cousin of mine, not a Derryberry descendant, was in Salt Lake City for a convention. There were about two dozen of them from Texas. To get home they chartered a Greyhound Bus. He says that 27 hours on a bus is not a recommended way to spend some free time.

I know that these two stories are insignificant compared to some that you have. Care to share them?


The names that were sent to me of those who attended the National Family Reunion at Wilburton, OK are: Nadene Willis Allen, Magdalene Berger, Mamie Brice, Evelyn Brown, Grace and Henry. Carroll, Jane Crawley, R.B. "Bob" Derebery, Andy Derryberry, Bill and Letha Derryberry, Bill and Lisa Derryberry, Bob and Alta Derryberry, Bob & Suzanne Derryberry, Boyd and Ruth Derryberry, Carlton Derryberry, Ernest & Helen Derryberry, Guy Z. & Lorie Derryberry, Guy F. Derryberry, Herbert Derryberry, John Derryberry, John Derryberry, Mae Derryberry, Michelle Derryberry, Mike & Gloria Derryberry, Nelda Derryberry, Paul & Bonnie Derryberry, Randy & Mara Derryberry, Ray and Peggy Derryberry, Rodney Derryberry, Tom and Karla Derryberry, Sr, Vicki Derryberry, Walt Derryberry, Wanda Curtis Derryberry, Robert L. Duke, Mrs. Jimmie J. Ewing, Gale Garrison, Tom & Joan D. Henslee, Virginia and Kaycee Hollingback, Theresa Derryberry Jones, Helen Jordon, Carol Kaiser, Kelly Kindler, S.M. Law, Gerald and Beatrice Ledbetter, Charlie & Carolyn Maguire, Eula McKee, Gail and John Miller, Mae Ortz, Ms. Ruby Pantalone, Charlotte Powell, Frank Ray, Bobbi Reisner, Faye Ritchison, Mr. & Mrs. Jerry Ritchison, Lee & Ricki Searcy, Max Steed, Larry & Judy Stidham, Tawny Strader, Betty and Frank Strong, Kris, Jenifer & Andrew Strong,, Linda Derryberry Tucker, Helen Venable, Laticia Wade, David and Mary Ann Walker, Margie Williams, Shirley Yoakum. However, that is not a omplete list because I know that there were others there that are not listed, such as Rick Derryberry family, Shirley Yoakum’s husband, Linda Tucker’s husband and son, Bobbi Reisner’s husband, and others.

These names represent 38 from OK, 15 from TX, 13 from TN, 8 from CO, 4 from FL, 3 from AR, 2 from OR, 2 from NM and 1 from LA, total 86. Head count was estimated at 120, so about 34 are unaccounted for.


Andy Derryberry sent me his list of Derryberry descendants addresses and it is interesting to note that they are: AK 1, AL 8, AR 13, AZ 1, CA 24, CO 17, FL 11, GA 10, IA 2, ID 2, IL 9, IN 1, KS 1, KY 4, LA 7, MD 4, MI 8, MO 31, MS 3, NC 24, NE 3, NJ 1, NM 3, NV 2, NY 2, OH 5, OK 59, OR 5, PA 3, SC 1, TN 147, TX 85, UT 2, VA 6 and WA 2. There were none from CT, DE, HI, ME, MA, MN, MT, NH, ND, RI, SD, VT, WV, WI or WY. The fact that there were so many from TN is understandable, seeing as how Andy is in TN and that there are MANY in TN. But, it is disappointing to see that there are so few or none from states that I know for a fact has some family descendants. Wonder why they are not interested? Or are they just uninformed?

It continues to be a struggle to get kinfolks to share their information, as if it were secrets Some are just not interested in family history. That was a contributing factor with Kay Cross and the earlier family newsletter.


The Adam & Eve house in Maury Co., TN is in danger of being destroyed. Tennessee does not have a law like the one in Texas that protects historic buildings or places. The current owner wants to sell the property or tear the house down to build a new house in its place. For more information, go to They are soliciting pledges of money to buy and maintain the house. Interested persons should contact Andy at


Mary Lou Derryberry Georgeson ( (Fresno, CA) has sent information taken from Nellie Jo Chance Derryberry’s journal that states that John Wesley Derryberry’s parents were Henry Derryberry born about 1800 at Corinth, MS and Jane Sanders born St. Louis, MO. In the extensive family database that I have, I cannot find a Henry Derryberry that fits. Does anyone have a clue?

Mary Lou sent new information on that branch, taken from Nellie’s journal. She married a son of John Wesley and Clemmie, a grandson of Henry and Jane. She probably knew them personally, however it is not known when they died, if they were still living when she married Henry Walter.

She gave information on Charles Piner’s, Josef’s and Don Garrison’s WWII service. Charles Piner served in WWI also, was reportedly the oldest Airborne member to be allowed to fly in combat (radioman) by passing the required physical. He was 43 years old. Don was advisor to Gen. Westmoreland, was offered a rank of General to re-up, but refused to retire. Don served in 3 wars, WWII, Korea and Viet Nam. Their military medals and citations are on display in the Derryberry business in Bartlesville, OK.

Nellie’s journal also makes mention that Grandpa Henry said that the family came from 4 brothers from Germany who came first to New Jersey. Very interesting.

She also reports that Zelch Ollie Derryberry, born 16 May 1873 taught school at an Indian Reservation in Northern New Mexico until she retired.


Several persons sent me notification that Mary Emma Turner Whitaker died 9 Jul 2001, age 82, at Magnolia Regional Health Center in Corinth, MS. She was the last of the siblings of Roscoe Turner, the great aviation celebrity. She leaves her husband, Cecil Whitaker. Cecil is in failing health. Their only child, Mack Whitaker, died several years prior. She is survived by her daughter-in-law, Mary Nell Martin, grandson Clint Whitaker and wife and grandaughter Christy Madlinger and husband Frank. She is buried in the Henry Cemetery at Corinth, MS. She was a retired secretary, homemaker and member of the Foote Street Church of Christ. Memorial contributions may be made to Pinevale Children’s Home.

For information on Roscoe, read ‘Roscoe Turner, Aviation’s Master Showman’ by Carroll V. Glines, published 1995 by The Smithsonian Institute. I found it very interesting.

Mary Emma attended the family reunion in Columbia, TN in 1996, where I met her. She was a very lovely lady with lots of spunk.


Nancy Besselsen’s (Florissant, MO) grandson, David Low, has just returned from spending a year as an exchange student in Munich, Germany. While there, he back-packed over Europe.

Nancy couldn’t make it to the family reunion this year because they were just cleaning up from a tornado that hit them earlier this year.


Thresa Derryberry Jones ( (McCloud, OK) sent new information on the William Henry Derryberry branch, which I have incorporated into the database.


Margaret Rose Derryberry Bishop ( sent new information on her branch of the family tree, which ties to my Andrew Derryberry and Mary Lasley. Margaret comes down through Joseph Columbus Derryberry


Lillie Derryberry ( (Fowlersville, MI) sent word that Dorothy P. Derryberry Crawford had been in the hospital again with heart and arthritis problems. Lillie’s husband’s brother, Lloyd E. Derryberry came to see them July 4th.


Sometimes I get a ‘fuzzy’ feeling from things that come about through family history work. The latest is that I was able to locate a missing heir. I wont reveal who was involved, out of privacy for those involved, but, a step-sister contacted me by e-mail searching for a certain Derryberry. I had his address and gave it to her. I hope he did not object. Seems that his father had re-married after this Derryberry’s mother died and his new wife had a child by her first marriage, which was the woman who contacted me. She had some of his father’s things that she wanted him to have, but did not know where to send them. Have not heard, as Paul Harvey says, the end of the story. Hope it turned out with a happy, though sad, ending.


Then, there is the latest where a Derryberry contacted Andy Derryberry wanting to know why his family was not listed on the website Andy forwarded it to me and I could not figure it out since he had given only first names and middle initials, and the first name was one of the most popular in the Derryberry family. I had about 100 of them. I had a pretty good idea who he was referring to, but I wanted to be certain. So, I queried him again. He came back with several middle names, but I was still stumped because it didn’t quite fit my information. Then I tried spouses names. Didn’t work. Then I tried children’s names and one was a little odd. Walla!! There it was. To make a long story short, which I seldom do, I fixed him a 35 page report on his branch of the family. Another success story.


I have pleaded before, and I’ll probably do it again many times, to ask for vignettes on people in the database. I’m working on this thing to leave for benefit of future generations to know just who their ancestors were and those vignettes are precious gems when it comes to saying just who they were, rather than cold facts like birth dates, death dates, etc. Put a face on that person. Was he/she a farmer, lawyer, thief or what? Did they ever do anything? I get the feeling that some of our ancestors were born, lived, died and never did a thing. Funny incidences will help put a face on them. Tragic incidences may pull heart strings of a great great grandchild. Whatever, your stories are appreciated.


Elbert Earl Derryberry passed away 31 Aug. 2001. He was buried at Eastland, TX where he had lived after retirement. He was a twin to Albert Woodrow Derryberry, son of John Andrew Derryberry and Mabel Harrison Derryberry, father of Carol Derryberry Kaiser. He was a pioneer in helicopters, having spent years with Bell Helicopter in the airframe and power section. His grandson is carring on the Derryberry-Bell Helicopter relationship, being an engineer with Bell. He had a long career in aviation, having been with Southwest Airmotive at Dallas’ Love Field before Bell. He was 93 years old, born at Boyd, TX. He was a brother to Earl Derryberry who was a pioneer in aviation also. Elbert was a 32nd degree Mason and a member of the Scottish Rite with 70 years in the Masons, but had not been active in several years. His first wife, Ima Jo Bryant, died in 1985. The current Mrs. Derryberry, Thelma Grace Coop, is in a nursing home. Condolences may be sent to Carol at


Lillie Mae Fitz Derryberry, sent information on her daughter’s pending marriage. Rhonda Denise Derryberry Brace and Michael Brett ‘Mike’ Hartman are to be married 6 Oct 2001 at Fowlersville, MI. He is from Howell, MI, son of Judy Mae Rice Hartman and Mr. Hartman. The wedding will be at Lillie’s home. They will have a tent in the yard for the guests (house too small for the anticipated 100 guests), a DJ set up in the garage and the driveway for dancing. Lillie says, "I pray it does not snow." Probably not a worry if it were in Texas. Lillie is coordinating the accouterments and bridesmaids dresses. Mike’s uncle, Rev, Skip Rice will perform the ceremony.


Dan Toss Derreberry, just avoided disaster. He was involved in an auto accident, but fortunately, no one hurt. Something fell off or was thrown by a tractor trailer and hit his windshield, breaking it in his wife’s face. She lost control and spun around 3 times in interstate highway traffic. Hit the guardrail on the driver’s side, sun twice more and hit guardrail on passenger’s (Dan’s) side. It finally ended up headed east on the west bound emergency lane. Dan says "Angels were with us that day, I thank the Lord for that and not one car was damaged except ours. It is replaceable. Jarred up and bruised a little and looking for another car."

Dan also relates that his mother’s-in-law diabetics is giving her trouble. She just got home from bout with congestive heart failure. She had 5 by-passes 4 years ago. They now have her living next door, with nurses coming daily. He asks to be remembered in your prayers.


Bobbi Reisner, offers a solution to halt e-mail virus spread where they steal the address book listings. She says to make a contact group of the addresses, then make the first address a !0000 with no @ part or with a factitious @ part. She says that if the virus then attempts to do a ‘send all’ on your contact list, your pc will pop up an error message that there is a problem in sending. You can then click on OK and the offending virus message would not be sent to anyone.

The offending virus message may then be stored in your ‘Drafts’ or ‘Outbox’ folder Norton or Mcafee both offer free virus deletion programs.

I don’t know if it works. I have not tried it. I have triple firewalls now, so, I trust, it would never get to my inbox. Verizon does not like so many firewalls but I do. My Soho router is first defense with it’s firewall. Then Zone Alert is supposed to catch it. (I have yet to have one of MANY attacks to get past Soho. Then, Norton Antivirus checks everything that gets in. I feel safe. I hope I am.


Enough for now.

Bob Derryberry