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Joan Barry

Joan (Anna) Barry
1915-2001

Joan Barry’s Life

Joan Barry, known by her family as Anna, was born to Jannetje (Jennie) and Harm (Harry) deVries near Amsterdam, Holland. Her birth name was Johanna Annie deVries. Jennie and Harry made several trips between Holland and the United States. On one of the return trips to Holland, Johanna was born on August 28, 1915. The family lived in Patterson, New Jersey and Winnipeg, Manitoba and probably several other places in-between trips to Holland. Other children were born at these various locations. Eventually, Jennie and Harry settled in Los Angeles for the long term on West 105th Street.

Jennie and Harm had nine children, two of whom died as infants. Six daughters and one son survived the one-bathroom home. The family was close and they were all together frequently. Today, the remaining four sisters and brother are here to celebrate the home going of their sister, Anna.

She attended Woodcrest Elementary School and graduated from Washington High School in South Los Angeles in 1933. One night, at age 16, she attended a dance with a girlfriend and her family. There, she caught the eye of Barney, a friend of the host family. He asked the host if he could take her home. Since it turned out that this was a prearranged plot, permission was granted. Barney took her home, as he did for many more years. During part of her teenage years, she attended Angeles Temple when Aimee Semple McPherson was the pastor. While at this church, she came to know the Gospel, recognized her need for salvation and accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior.

Anna and Barney were married August 10, 1934. Their first child, Gary, was born in 1936 and second child, Don, in 1941. Barney built a new house in South Los Angeles in 1937 where they lived until 1965. Rolling Hills Estates was their home until recently.

In 1943 during WW2, they Americanized their names to John Barney Barry and Joan Barry – thus the beginning of the name confusion.

Anna was a devoted mother to her two boys. Her employment was her home, which she kept organized, neat and spotless. She taught Sunday School and Daily Vacation Bible School for many years. While she always longed for a daughter, she admitted that she preferred to teach boys in her classes. She was a regular in the church choir and would even sing a duet if prodded long enough. She enjoyed playing the piano and her Hammond organ at home. She participated in many church activities and was a faithful tither.

A gracious hostess, her cookie tin was always filled and ready for drop-in guests or grandchildren. She opened her home for church functions. Her Christmas Party was a special event looked forward to each year by the women of the church. If anyone was alone at Thanksgiving, they were always welcome at her table. For many years she hosted the deVries family Olebolen Party, reviving a Dutch family tradition now carried on by her niece Diena.

Anna kept in touch with her closest girlfriends from high school up through the present year of her death. She recalled swimming around the end of the old pier at Hermosa Beach with these friends. She was always very straight-laced. One of the most embarrassing events of her youth was riding on the back of an out-of-control horse as it took her inside the local bar. She loved ice cream and visiting with her mom and sisters.

With both of them in failing health, John and Joan moved here in March 2000 to The Kensington where the staff provided loving care. Joan went to be with the Lord on July 25, 2001. She leaves sons Gary and Don, grandchildren Todd, Tami, Sonya and Leasha, sisters Diena, Jennie, Edith and Roberta, and brother Daniel.

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