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cherryFuneral services for Dennis Duane Cherry, 82, West Plains, Missouri, will be held at 2:00 p.m., Sunday, March 17, 2013, at First Baptist Church, West Plains, Missouri, with Reverend Spencer Ray officiating, under the direction of Robertson-Drago Funeral Home.

Mr. Cherry passed away at 11:05 p.m., Thursday, March 14, 2013, at Ozarks Medical Center.

He was born October 23, 1930, at Tabor, Iowa, to Albert and Beulah Asman Cherry. He attended West Plains High School and graduated with the Class of 1948. On November 7, 1950, he was married at Hardy, Arkansas, to Irene Bench. After graduation, Dennis worked for his father at OK Tire Shop before joining the United States Navy in 1951. Dennis was a veteran, having served in the United States Navy for thirty years, before retiring back to West Plains in 1981. He was a medical corpsman and served with the Marines during the Korean War; he received the Navy Achievement Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and achieved the highest rank of Master Chief. During his military service, he also served in California, Virginia, Rhode Island, Florida, the Philippine Islands, Guantanamo Bay Cuba and Tennessee. At each place they were stationed, Dennis and Irene found a local church where they could serve their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He served the Lord in West Plains at First Baptist Church for many years as a Deacon and teacher of the young married couple’s class. In his later years, he had a special passion for helping those in need through service on the First Baptist Church Benevolence Committee. After retirement, Dennis enjoyed gardening and especially raising delicious tomatoes, which he shared with family and friends. He was a fervent supporter of the Missouri State University Grizzly basketball team and Dennis and Irene were a host family to a basketball player each year. He was one of their most ardent followers until this last year, traveled to every away game as well as attending the home games. However, his greatest joy was found in leading someone to a saving knowledge of Jesus. Anyone who asked how he was doing would hear the reply, “I am blessed” and know that he meant it because of his relationship with the Lord.

He is survived by his wife, Irene, of the family home; two daughters, Cindy Doss, husband, Jack, West Plains, Missouri and Pamela Kinney, husband, Al, Severna Park, Maryland; one sister, Susie Whitsell, husband, Phill; two brothers-in-law, Bob Bench and Junior Bench, wife, Vadna; one sister-in-law, Clara Zell Cherry; seven grandchildren, Rebecca and Sarah Doss, Caleb, Creghton, Grace, Emma and Mia Kinney; and two great-grandchildren, Eve Marie and Ransom Niesen.

His parents and one brother, Jim Cherry, precede him in death.

Mr. Cherry will lie in state from 4:00 p.m., Saturday until Noon Sunday at Robertson-Drago Funeral Home. Burial will be in the Oak Lawn Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to First Baptist Church Benevolence Fund, and may be left at Robertson-Drago Funeral Home. Online condolences may be expressed at www.robertsondrago.com.

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