The life story of, Derrick E. Barry, “Someone you should know!”
Derrick Eneree Barry, aka “Barry”, “Candyman”, “Ricky”, and for the past 16 years, “Grandpa D” and “Mr. D”, was born in Chicago, Illinois, on December 25, 1952. He was the oldest son to Marlene Ruth and Clarence Clifton Barry (both preceding him in death). He was also preceded in death by his brother, Derrold Barry.
Derrick was a member of Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Naperville, Illinois. He loved attending the Sunday morning early mass with Leslie. His early school education was at Corpus Christi Elementary Catholic School until the 8th grade. He graduated from De La Salle High School, where he was on the basketball team. After high school, Derrick worked for the City of Chicago for a short while and then joined Chicago Northwestern Railroad, which later became Union Pacific. He worked as a switchmen for a few years in the suburbs and eventually moved to the Cal Ave rail yard. Derrick loved working for the railroad. He had many great opportunities and experiences and made many lifelong friends. The railroad family is and always has been a bond that can’t be broken. Derrick retired from the railroad in December of 2012 after 38 ½ years of service.
In January of 1971, Derrick had the joy of his life. Alicia was born. His baby girl. He would always say, “Licia is grounded, I don’t have to worry about her.” What a compliment! Derrick kept watch over his three stepsons: Larry Jackson, Cory Hardrict and Nick Hardrict. Always wanting to know how they were doing and if they were okay.
In 2005, Derrick was introduced to Leslie by his co-worker and Leslie’s student, Flo Jarrett. Leslie was the love of his life. He would often, tell people to “Pray for him,” with Leslie’s strong personality. In 2006, Leslie and Derrick married. This union brought him, his best friend. The companionship, affection and devotion through good times and the difficulties of aging would be their driving force. It also brought him someone that loved sports as much as he did. Their vacations, holidays and days off of work revolved around activities with the grandkids and sports. Derrick was a Chicago fan. He loved the Bears, White Sox, Bulls, Chicago Sky, and Black Hawks. He and Leslie would plan Xmas day/his birthday events early so that they could be home by noon to watch NBA day. Their vacations were planned so that they could catch a game wherever they traveled. If his teams were not in the playoffs, he would continue to follow sports. Derrick was an avid bowler for over 40 years. He took pride in coaching Leslie and her bowling team to a first place victory in 2015. He started golfing in 2012, and every summer would look forward to playing.
Derrick was blessed in so many ways, but especially to have wonderful, fun loving grandchildren, all with a sense of humor, who laughed at Derrick’s corny jokes: Lawrence, Shamon, and Laila were very close to him. He was so happy when Lawrence received a scholarship to Loyola and they all drove him to school (about an hour away). He learned the sport of LaCrosse so that he could go to Lawrence’s games and understand what was going on. He even would go to Lawrence’s science fairs as well as band concerts to listen to him play the clarinet and French horn. He was so proud of Shamon and his acting skills. He would never miss an opportunity to watch Shamon, whether in a school play or on TV. If Shamon was in a commercial, he tried taping it. He always talked about the way Shamon developed his own unique style. He was close with his granddaughter, Laila. Laila and her Grandpa D, would spend hours talking and eating junk food. He would tell her, “when you’re eating cake, slice it thin, so that the calories escape.” He would buy her all kinds of flavored chips and save them for her. He was so proud to watch her in her track, volleyball, or basketball events. He had the opportunity to go to his grandson, Lil Nick’s basketball game and talked about it for days. When Cree and later Cairo were born, he was happy and excited for Cory and Tia, and knew that Rossi would have been so thrilled to be a grandmother. He was passionate about his family, whether he talked to them every day or on holidays.
On Mother’s Day, Derrick would call many of the mothers he knew to touchbase with them and say Happy Mother’s Day. He wanted to make sure everyone had someone tell them it was their day!
On Saturday, May 29, 2021 at 11:12 p.m., the Lord called his servant home. Derrick was surrounded by family and was at peace. In 12 years, Derrick had 9 major surgeries, with 7 of them related to his aorta and 13 stents. To carry out his legacy, he leaves behind his wife and best friend, Leslie; his daughter, Alicia “babygirl”; three stepsons, Cory, (Tia) Nick and Larry; six grandchildren, Shamon, Lawrence, Laila, Nick, Cree and Cario; his Aunt, Barbara Elaine Barry Buck, (Greenville, Miss); mother-in-law, Jane Rienzie (Columbia, SC), his sister; Anquinette Barry, (Seattle, WA); four brothers; Derrence A. Barry, (Florida), James Keith Todd (Georgia), and Donn Todd (Washington, DC); stepbrothers and sisters; Deborah Cain, Ronald Cain, and Dian Cain; two sister-in-laws, Teri Rienzie (Columbia, SC), and Andera Derrice Parker (Chicago, IL), two brother-in-laws, Kenny Rienzie (Joanne) (Boston, Mass), and Ronald Parker (wife Corzette, Deceased), (Chicago, Il); godson, Derrick Roach, and a host of nieces, nephews, grand nieces, grand nephews, a host of cousins, including Makeba Tucker (Emmitt) (Jonesboro, GA) and Zahra Whitfield (Harold), (Houston, Texas), and all of his special friends and railroad family.
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