Eileen M. Derry, homemaker

Eileen M. Derry, a homemaker and hospital volunteer, died May 9 of complications from diabetes at Gilchrist Hospice Care in Towson. She was 79.

The daughter of farmers, the former Eileen Mary Rothgaber was born in Baltimore and was raised on the family farm in Taneytown and on 25th Street.

After graduating in 1953 from Eastern High School, she briefly studied nursing at the old Baltimore City Hospital.

She married James Derry in 1953, and the couple later settled in White Marsh, where they raised their family.

Mrs. Derry maintained a home-cleaning business to supplement her overseas travels with a group that went to Israel, Ireland, Spain, Egypt, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, England and other destinations.

Mrs. Derry volunteered for 16 years in the burn unit at what is now Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.

An avid swimmer who enjoyed swimming in oceans, lakes and rivers, Mrs. Derry suffered a life-threatening infection in 2010 that necessitated in vascular surgery and eventual amputation of her leg above the knee.

"She was discharged to hospice care and managed to survive and be discharged," said her daughter, Brenda Jackson of Phoenix in Baltimore County, a senior account executive with the Baltimore Sun Media Group.

Mrs. Derry's medical condition and ultimate survival became the subject of an article published in the 2013 edition of the Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing.

With her new prosthesis, Mrs. Derry was able to resume swimming.

She was active in her church.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. June 8 at Middle River Baptist Church, 610 Middle River Road.

In addition to her daughter, Mrs. Derry is survived by her husband of 59 years, a retired Bethlehem Steel Corp. shipping foreman; three sons, James W. Derry of White Marsh, Jeff Derry of Oxford, N.C., and John Derry of Carmel Ind.; a brother, David Rothgaber of Longboat Key, Fla.; a twin sister, Laurel Diliberti of Pickerington, Ohio; another sister, Karen Chase of Havre de Grace; and nine grandchildren.

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