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Barry Tennis was 99th founder at Van Dorn years ago

Barry Tennis was

99th founder at Van Dorn

     Cecil Barrington Tennis, C/924, 86, died Nov. 27, 2001, in Oakland CA, of pneumonia and heart trouble. He had been a resident of Piedmont CA, for 40 years.

     He is survived by his wife, Ann, of 49 years; son, Jon and his wife Terri; and three grandchildren.

     Barry was born in Blue Mountain AR, but went to California with two older siblings and their families in 1935. He said that John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath could have been an account of their trip.

     In 1937, he enlisted in the Army and spent the next four years at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii. In June 1941, he was sent to Fort Ord CA. Later he was assigned to a new infantry division that was being established in Mississippi — the 99th Infantry Division. The division was sent to England in September 1944, and then to Belgium.

     The first sergeant of C/924, he was recommended for a battlefield commission when he was injured Dec. 17, 1944, in the Battle of the Bulge. His injury resulted in blindness. Barry credited Sgt. Ben Stice of Oklahoma with saving his life, for Ben stayed with him, helped him walk out, and got him to a medical aid station.

     After the war, Barry attended the University of California at Berkeley on the GI Bill, graduating in 1953. He then established an income property business, buying and managing apartment buildings.

     After retirement, Barry and Ann made several trips to Europe with the 99th Infantry Division Association. Jon and Terri were along on the 50th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge trip and were shown the area where Barry had been injured. Barry and Ann made many auto trips across the U.S. to attend 99th reunions and to visit relatives and friends.