Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas


January 23, 2014

Bobbie Jo Darby

Bobbie Jo Darby, 89, passed away at the Heritage Oaks Retirement Village in Corsicana at 2:28 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, two days shy of her 90th birthday. Bobbie was born Jan. 24, 1924 in Roane to Thomas Irvin and Queena Bess Darby, the third youngest of eight children. The Darby family moved to the Kerens area from Troup, Texas in 1911.

 Bobbie Jo enlisted in the WAVES U.S. Naval Reserve in 1944 shortly after they were created in 1942. At this time during World War II they were officially the Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service (WAVES). In 1948, while she was still serving, she was able to be a part of military history when the WAVES became a permanent part of the U.S. Military. She served from 1944 through World War II and the Korean War and was honorably discharged in 1952. It was said she was an awesome sight walking around downtown Kerens in her Naval uniform. She was thrilled during her last years to see a Kerens Veterans Memorial being started in her hometown of Kerens.

She worked in many civil service jobs after leaving the military including Texas State Department of the Blind in Austin, Administrator of the Kerens Hospital, Administrator of the Kerens Rest Home, Chief of Planning and Design for the south side Kerens Housing Authority, and even had a street named after her where the south side housing is located, “Darby Drive.” She would not admit it, but she was quite proud of the street named for herself and her family. She was also head of the Malakoff Housing Authority and the Trinidad Housing Authority. During her time in Austin, she became a life-long Texas Longhorn fan and would watch every game when she had the chance. She would also become quite animated when she talked politics. Bobbie was a dedicated Democrat and often said she only voted for one Republican in her life, Ronald Reagan.

Bobbie Jo was a proud graduate of the 1942 Class of Kerens High School where she was a cheerleader and also worked on the original Bobcat Scratch. She did her military training at Hunter College in New York City, Dallas, and Bethesda, Maryland. After the military, she also attended the University of Texas in Austin.

 Bobbie Jo was the third youngest of the eight children of Queena Bess and Thomas Irvin Darby of Kerens. All except for infant Johnny Darby were graduates from Kerens High School.  

Bobbie was preceded in death by her parents, Thomas Irvin and Queena Bess Darby; brothers Jack Darby, Thomas Darby, and Johnny Darby; and sisters, Billie Ruth Cartlidge, Katherine Patterson, Queena Allen, and Melba Rea; and numerous nieces and nephews and grand nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Kerens Veterans Memorial Fund, Post Office Box 5, Kerens, Texas, 75144.

Visitation will be from 12 to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014 at Paschal Funeral Chapel in Kerens. A Graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014 at the Kerens Cemetery with her nephew Jakie Doyle Allen officiating. Interment will follow in the Kerens Cemetery.


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