Dorothy Mary von Barby, 95, Frederick homemaker

March 08, 2004

Dorothy Mary von Barby, a Howard County native who married a German aristocrat and was stranded in Germany during World War II, died Saturday from pneumonia at Frederick Memorial Hospital. The Frederick homemaker was 95.

Born in Cooksville, the former Dorothy Riggs grew up on her family's racehorse-breeding farm and attended public schools.

When she was 14, her parents sent her to live with relatives in Germany. While she was finishing school there she met her future husband, Baron Hans Wiprecht von Barby. The two married in 1928.

The couple was living in Germany with their two young children when World War II broke out. "We were stuck over there," recalls her daughter, Maria Nomita Brady of Bethesda.

Baron von Barby was ordered to join the German army. Mrs. von Barby struggled to keep her family safe and survived several close scrapes, including once when her Frankfurt house was bombed. Fortunately, she wasn't in it at the time, her daughter said.

After the war, the couple returned to the United States, living in Florida, Washington and, for the past 35 years, Frederick.

Mrs. von Barby's husband, who had dropped his title, died in 1986.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 1 p.m. Wednesday at St. Andrews Union Chapel, at Union Chapel Road and Route 97 in Glenwood.

In addition to her daughter, Mrs. von Barby is survived by a son, Hans Wiprecht von Barby Jr. of Evergreen, Colo.; three grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

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