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Emma Marie Derr

June 17, 1920 April 6, 2020
Emma Marie Derr
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Obituary for Emma Marie Derr
On the warm summer day of June 17th, 1920, cries were heard all over Honey Grove, Texas. Two of those cries were from Greely and Lillie Bell Smith for the glorious birth of a daughter. The other cry was from a brand new Emma Marie Smith (Marie), who was announcing to the world she was here and ready to take it on.
Honey Grove would not be a big enough stage for this young girl, so in 1922 the whole family loaded up and moved to God’s country in Lake Creek, Ok. She spent her childhood in and around the Lake Creek, Willow and Brinkman areas, these being thriving communities in the 20’s.
Farming was the name of the game in those days and Marie helped out as much as she could. I say it that was because she was stomped by a horse while a little girl and her leg was broken. Her mother being one of those women who was handy at most things, set her leg at home. Trust me, though I wasn’t there, I can guarantee she was still trying to help while her leg healed. Soon she was running and riding with the best of them.
But childhood days soon turn into grown up days. No longer playing and running around, but now going to dances and seeing all the strapping young boys from the neighboring towns. One such good looking boy seemed to have caught her eye at one of these dances. A young farm boy from Martha, Elvis (Tete) Derr. I’m sure he was just the bee’s knees.
Just as young love was blossoming, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and WWII was on. Tete enlisted and was sent to Detroit to learn to become a mechanic. But while away, neither one must have forgotten the other because they were married soon after he graduated, on February 19th, 1943, just days before being shipped to Europe.
With Europe free, Tete made his way back to Oklahoma and Marie to start making the family we are today. Babies were not in the cards for these happy two for the first 6 years, but the Lord was watching for the perfect time. Along would come a son that was needing love and these two had plenty to spare. They would name this young baby Gary and together they were a family.
Raising a family was tough in those days and moving around was the norm. Trips to California to work were common, but Oklahoma was always home. On one of those times at home, the announcement was made that this happy threesome was to become a foursome and soon a daughter was born. Cathy would be her name. Now their family was complete.
Years go by, Tete runs his mechanic shop, does the books, and boys become men. That man would soon marry and start a family of his own. This is where the family that Tete and Marie starts takes off.
Two grandsons are the next additions to this growing family. Those two grandsons would add 7 great grandbabies to the fold. Believe it or not, those grandbabies would add 5 plus one to grow on great-great grandbabies that she would be able to love.
Not to be outdone, Gary would find the love of his life and start a new family adding 2 granddaugters to this growing family. Those granddaughters would add 4 more great grand babies to the family that Marie would know and love when she passed to be with the Lord and her husband on April 6th, 2020.
Marie took great joy in her family and with the joy of the new additions, there was the sorrow of losing too. She was preceded in death by her Father and Mother, Greely and Lillie Bell Smith, Her brothers Vernis, Sherwood, Homer, Jewel, and G.L. Smith and her sister Mary Thompson. Tete, her husband of 42 years also left her way too early. Her daughter Cathy would tragically pass before her which no mother should ever see a child go before them. Alora Kinsley Derr, the most precious of her great-great granddaughters will be there at the gates of Heaven to greet her.
As you can see, Marie lived a long impressive life. It’s not often 5 generations can get together, but we have. Yes, feel sadness on this day that Marie has passed, but celebrate the long and wonderful life she had because without her, this large and wonderful family wouldn't exist.
Marie will be laid to rest at Riverside Cemetery at 2PM on April 10th, 2020. Sorry that not everyone can come then and celebrate her life, but we will being having that celebration in Willow on what would have been her 100th birthday on June 17th, 2020.
Please, in lieu of flowers, with the appropriate Covid-19 precautions, tell your loved ones how much they mean to you because for us 100 years wasn't enough.
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